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Hindu political front is VHP's goal: Singhal
Sharat Pradhan in Allahabad | February 11, 2007 19:44 IST
Vishwa Hindu Parishad leader Ashok Singhal declared on Sunday that his main goal was to create a strong Hindu votebank to attain his ultimate goal of establishing an 'undisputed Hindu rule in India'.
Addressing a press conference on the eve of a delayed launch of the VHP sponsored three-day global Hindu meet, Singhal said, "Our objective is to form a Hindu political front through mobilisation of a Hindu votebank to achieve our ultimate goal of establishing Hindu rule in this country."
While listing out a number of 'Hindutva issues' that were to be taken up at the meet, which will now commence on Monday, he did not mince words in declaring, "Construction of a grand Ram temple in Ayodhya remains at the top of our agenda."
Incessant rain since Saturday played spoilsport, as the meet was to be formally inaugurated on Sunday morning .
The VHP leader, who had always been proclaiming that his outfit would have nothing to do with politics, made it loud and clear -- "We believe in building Hindu politics."
Even as he sought to emphasise that the meet was not intended as any 'display of Hindu strength', political analysts termed it as a 'blatant misuse of religion to serve political ends'.
ProfessorYogeshwar Tiwari of Allahabad University's history department told rediff.com, "If VHP was really interested in the cause of Hindus or intended to sincerely serve their larger interests, then they could have done it when millions of Hinuds converged for the Ardh Kumbh Mela." He felt, 'nothwithstanding Singhal's claims, it was amply evident that the whole show was aimed at revising Hindu passions to give the otherwise fading BJP a fresh boost'.
Asked what prompted him to look for the formation of a Hindu party when its political ally, Bhartiya Janata Party was already fulfilling that role as a Hindu nationalist party, Singhal declined to make any comment.
To repeated pointed queries whether he did not consider BJP a Hindu political outfit, he shot back, "Any political party keen to don the mantle of a Hindu party will have to come under our banner."
Singhal went on to add, "As far as Hindutva is concerned, we have strong sympathisers in diffferent political parties, including the Congress."
He also claimed 'staunch support of a powerful Mumbai-based Congress leader'. He, however, declined to disclose the leader's identity.
"One day, you will see the convergence of all such Hindus under the common banner of a united Hindu political front," he said.
Claiming that VHP had not invited any political party, including BJP for the global meet, which is expected to be attended by two to three lakh Hindus, the VHP supremo said, "We will not allow any political leader to share our dias unless the person happens to be enjoying a high acedemic status."
Sources however claimed that senior BJP leaders, including national vice-president Kalyan Singh, state BJP president Keshrinath Tripathi and two of his predecessors Kalraj Misra and Vinay Katiyar were all set to seek participation in the conclave.
Since the rain led to collapse of nearly all 14,000 tents erected across the vast 300-acre area allotted by the Mulayam Singh Yadav government for the show, tens of thousands of participants drawn from different corners of the country and abroad were busy shifting to alternative sites in the town, until late Sunday evening.
"We are grateful to the local administration for shutting some 38 schools where we have been allowed to put up two lakh of our dislodged participants," Singhal said.