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BJP, VHP tiff spills into RSS meet
K G Suresh in Haridwar |
November 05, 2004 19:10 IST
Differences within the Sangh Parivar have cast a shadow on the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh's national executive meeting at Haridwar, Uttaranchal.
The two-day session, which was expected to send a strong message of Hindu solidarity, began on a bitter note on Friday with Vishwa Hindu Parishad leaders boycotting it over differences with the Bharatiya Janata Party on the issue of Hindutva.
VHP leaders Ashok Singhal and Praveen Togadia, who were invited, stayed away despite last minute efforts by the Sangh leadership to persuade them.
BJP president Lal Kishenchand Advani and his predecessor M Venkaiah Naidu, however, turned up.
The VHP has been highly critical of the BJP for using Hindutva for electoral gains and has been demanding a parallel Hindutva political alliance on the lines of the United Progressive Alliance and the National Democratic Alliance.
VHP leaders, including Singhal, Togadia and Giriraj Kishore, are camping at an undisclosed location in the city. However, the organisation's Rajendra Singh Pankaj was seen at the meeting venue.
"VHP top leaders are performing anusthan (prayer) for Hindutva resurgence," Kishore said when asked whether the VHP was boycotting the meeting.
Sources said Singhal and Togadia, who were at the venue on Thursday, were also upset over the "non-inclusion" of the Ram Temple issue in the agenda by the RSS in an effort to not inconvenience Advani.