The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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VHP not ruffled by temple stand

Chennai, July 18: The Vishwa Hindu Parishad does not view BJP president M. Venkaiah Naidu’s statement that Ayodhya will not be an election issue as a rejection of its demand for a central legislation to facilitate the construction of a Ram temple.

Naidu’s statement was part of his opening remarks at the BJP’s three-day national executive meeting that began today in Raipur. “Hindutva is the soul of India. We are proud of it, but it cannot be an election issue,” the BJP president said.

“Ayodhya cannot be an election issue. It cannot be a political issue either, though it can be part of the agenda,” VHP international general secretary Praveen Togadia said here this evening.

The VHP, he said, will await the outcome of the BJP’s national executive meeting before deciding on its future course of action.

The VHP leader iterated that the “liberation” of Ayodhya, Kashi and Mathura were non-negotiable for the VHP.

Togadia also asserted that if the Muslims did not renounce their claims on these shrines, the VHP would be compelled to rake up the issue of reclaiming 30,000 temples “destroyed by medieval invaders”.

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