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UP poll: VHP to aid BJP in consolidating Hindu votes
March 28, 2007 18:49 IST
Burying its hatchet with the Bharatiya Janata Party, the Vishwa Hindu Parishad on Wednesday said it would work for consolidation of the Hindu votes in favour of the saffron party in the coming Uttar Pradesh Assembly elections.
VHP president Ashok Singhal, who had been attacking the BJP for "dithering" on the Ayodhya issue, appealed to Hindu voters to support BJP's chief ministerial candidate Kalyan Singh to revive the movement for the construction of the Ram temple.
Describing Kalyan Singh as the "architect of the demolition of the Babri mosque" in Ayodhya for which he even sacrificed his government in 1992, he told reporters in Varanasi that his (Kalyan Singh's) return to power would act as a catalyst for the Ram temple construction issue and would also sustain the Hindutva agendas of the Sangh Parivar.
On the Sangh Parivar's electoral strategy in the UP polls, he said a 'Hindu Matdata Manch' has been set up under the aegis of saints to woo voters of the majority community and to make them vote en bloc for those candidates who would commit themselves to espouse Hindu agendas.
The saints and Sangh Parivar workers would hit the road across the state from early next month and launch a vigorous electoral campaign for consolidating Hindu votes in favour of BJP candidates.
Referring to BJP member of Parliament Yogi Adityanath's revolt against the party and his decision to put up at least 70 candidates in four districts of eastern Uttar Pradesh, Singhal sought to distance himself from the issue, saying VHP would support only those candidates who would stand for Hindutva ideology irrespective of their political moorings.
The VHP leader flayed the "so-called" secular parties for their alleged minority appeasement policies and claimed that these parties were not only making efforts to woo the Muslims by doling out financial packages, but were also "laying a foundation for yet another division of the country on religious grounds" by towing the agendas of the Islamist forces.
Singhal also took exception to Congress MP Rahul Gandhi's reported remarks that the Babri mosque would not have been demolished had the Nehru-Gandhi family been in politics and said Rahul's comments were consistent with his party's "minority appeasement plank."
Rahul has made it clear that his party did not stand for the construction of the Ram temple, he said adding, the party would pay dearly in the coming Assembly elections in UP for making yet another attempt to placate the minorities.
The move would further distance Hindus from the oldest political party, Singhal claimed.
The VHP chief said the Ram temple construction would take place in Ayodhya in deference to the religious sentiments of Hindus and said the efforts by secular parties to reconstruct the Babri mosque would be thwarted with full vigour.
Singhal also opposed the Centre's proposed Setusamudram project saying the VHP would oppose the move tooth and nail.
He also demanded a legislation banning cow slaughter and measures for preservation of the river Ganga.