The Vishva Hindu Parishad (VHP) on Sunday dismissed as 'fake and baseless' the reports that its activists and those of the Bajrang Dal will participate in an event to be organised by the Maharashtra Navnirman Sena (MNS) to play 'Hanuman Chalisa' on loudspeakers outside the mosques in Maharashtra on May 3.
In a veiled attack at the MNS, the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS)-affiliate also dubbed as 'propaganda politics' the reports about the participation of its activists and those of the Bajrang Dal in the proposed event of the party, saying the VHP neither supports any political party nor participates in their political programmes.
"Neither the VHP nor the Bajrang Dal have extended any support to the MNS' Hanuman Chalisa event. All the news coming in about the VHP and Bajrang Dal activists to be participating in the MNS's programme is fake, baseless and far from the truth," VHP national spokesperson Vinod Bansal told PTI.
He said that the VHP does not participate 'in any programme organised by any political party'.
"VHP is an apolitical organisation. It does not support any political party," he said.
The VHP's clarification comes following reports in a section of media claiming that the right-wing outfit and its youth wing Bajrang Dal have agreed to participate in the proposed event of the Raj Thackeray-led MNS across Maharashtra on May 3.
"Those who are playing this propaganda politics that VHP and Bajrang Dal will participate in the MNS programme, is not right. It's a completely false narrative," Bansal added.
The MNS chief had recently asked the Maharashtra government to ensure that loudspeakers are removed from the religious places in the state by May 3, threatening that his party will play 'Hanuman Chalisa' on loudspeakers in front of the mosques if his demand is not fulfilled.
The VHP leader said it doesn't have any issues with anyone organising any event for recitation of Hanuman Chalisa.
"The VHP believes that there should not be a ban on recitation of Hanuman Chalisa in the country. If someone, however, is doing it for some political reasons, we do not support it," he added.
Without naming anyone, however, the VHP leader slammed the Maharashtra government over slapping of sedition charge against Independent MLA Ravi Rana and his wife Amravati MP Navneet Rana, who were recently arrested following their call for the chanting of Hanuman Chalisa outside Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray's residence.
"We are also against such atrocities," Bansal said.
Union Minister Ramdas Athawale had recently said that his party Republican Party of India-Athawale, an ally of the Bharatiya Janata Party, does not support the MNS chief's demand for the removal of loudspeakers from mosques.
He had also claimed that the BJP also does not support Raj Thackeray's stand on the issue.
"The BJP has never taken such a stand. Prime Minister Narendra Modi believes in 'Sabka Saath Sabka Vikas' and there is no possibility of the BJP taking such a position. This is Raj Thackeray's agenda," he had said.