The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Togadia seeks debate on Kanchi plan

Hyderabad, June 23: Vishwa Hindu Parishad general secretary Praveen Togadia today demanded that the proposal made by Kanchi Sankaracharya Swami Jayendra Saraswati should be made public and debated before it was approved by both sides.

Togadia warned of a “big agitation that will change the course of the country’s politics” if the disputed land in Ayodhya was not handed over to Hindus “unconditionally” for the construction of a Ram temple.

“We are not sabotaging anybody’s efforts and are not against negotiated settlement. But it should involve handing over of the Ran Janmasthan to Hindus unconditionally. We want the Ram temple at any cost and by any method,” he said.

Togadia said any proposal that compromises the self-respect of Hindus would not be acceptable “even over our dead bodies”, and made it clear that the claim to the shrines at Mathura and Kashi would continue to be on the VHP’s agenda.

The VHP leader said the proposal that Hindus give up the claim to the shrines in favour of a solution at Ayodhya was not acceptable even to the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh.

“All the leaders of the RSS I spoke to have vociferously opposed such a compromise formula,” he said.

The VHP did not favour the construction of a mosque at Ayodhya, Togadia said. “If the Muslims agree to construct a temple at Mecca, then we will consider (allowing the construction of) a mosque at Ayodhya.”

Asked about the Kanchi seer being hopeful that something can come about by July 7 towards resolving the Ayodhya dispute, Togadia said: “Any Hindu Sankaracharya should be confident.” However, he added that the seer “may not be knowing what the Prime Minister’s Office is doing”.

Togadia was bitter with the BJP for its failure to fulfil electoral assurances after coming to power. “They did not have any inhibitions about using Hindutva for the sake of getting votes and coming to power. But now they claim that they (the BJP) cannot impose its agenda on the NDA,” he said. “Ideological conviction has nothing to do with political and legislative majority,” Togadia said, adding that the NDA has betrayed the aspirations of Hindus.

Asked whether he had any discussion with Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee on the Kanchi Sankaracharya’s proposals, Togadia said he had not met Vajpayee after February 2002.

The VHP leader said the two-day meeting of the national executive of the outfit at Raipur on June 27 and 28 will decide the course of action of the organisation on the Ayodhya issue. “The 40,000 units of the VHP, which have nearly 3.5 million cadre, will decide on the future course of action, which can include mass agitations till the Ram mandir is built on the same site,” he said.

Togadia said if Muslims behave like their forefathers, who he described as invaders, “they will end up as foreigners” in the country.

“The Muslims will loose the goodwill of the Hindus if they take away Ayodhya legally and constitutionally,” he added.

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