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VHP stir from March 27: Togadia
March 10, 2003 22:19 IST
The Vishwa Hindu Parishad on Monday announced the launch of a week-long agitation in Delhi from March 27 to press its demand for a law to declare the disputed site in Ayodhya as the birthplace of Lord Ram and handing over of the undisputed land to the Ram Janambhoomi Trust.
Asserting that enactment of a law is the 'only legal solution' to the problem, VHP general secretary Pravin Togadia asked all political parties to clarify their stand on this demand. Pointing out that Parliament had earlier enacted laws overruling the judiciary, he cited the Shah Bano case and the designating of the Aligarh Muslim University as a minority institution despite it being funded by the government.
At a press conference in Delhi, Togadia claimed that the matter would be resolved before the next parliamentary elections due next year.
If its claim over the disputed land in Ayodhya, along with those on the Kashi and Mathura temples, was not accepted, Togadia warned of an intense nationwide agitation.
"We could have reclaimed 30,000 temples but we have demanded only three holiest of the holy in the interest of social harmony as we are liberal," the VHP leader said.
"This is only the first phase of the agitation. More would be launched till we achieve our goal," Togadia said the VHP had the support of the RSS.
"Ram sevaks from various states will descend on to the national capital from March 27 for a satyagraha," he said adding separate dates had been allocated to participants from various states to keep the size of the gathering within manageable limits.
The VHP had earlier announced that it would organise a one-day agitation but Togadia said the programme has been extended to a week in view of the expected participation by a large number of people.
Claiming that the ruling BJP and main opposition Congress held 'similar views' on the Ayodhya issue -- that it be settled through talks or the judiciary -- Togadia criticised senior Congress leader Arjun Singh for attending a rally organised by the Jamiat Ulema-i-Hind in Delhi on Sunday.
If Singh could attend the Jamiat's programme, why would he not participate in a Bajrang Dal programme? Togadia asked.
The Ayodhya Issue: The Complete Coverage