The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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BJP greedy for power: VHP

New Delhi, Oct. 7: In its strongest attack on the Centre so far, the Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP) described the BJP as “power hungry” and warned that Pakistan’s attempts to cause anarchy were likely to succeed because of the NDA government’s “failure” to tackle terrorism.

VHP vice-president Acharya Giriraj Kishore said: “The government has failed to check terrorism. Due to the inadequate steps in this region, the enemy’s designs to make people lose faith in the government and spread anarchy are likely to succeed.”

Asked if the root cause of the “problem” was the BJP citing the NDA’s common agenda and giving up its key Hindutva issues, he said: “The BJP is power hungry.”

Last week, Kishore had slammed the BJP president M Venkaiah Naidu for directing party cadre not to air their views on contentious issues like disinvestment in public. He called Naidu a “dictator”.

The VHP’s war of words with the BJP was triggered by working president Ashok Singhal’s attack on Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee two weeks ago in Lucknow. Singhal alleged that Vajpayee’s “decisions” had tarnished the BJP’s image and alleged that he had failed to counter terrorism.

Singhal’s diatribe prompted Naidu to swiftly defend the Prime Minister. He said the VHP’s statements were influenced by “religious extremism” from across the border.

VHP general secretary Praveen Togadia took off from where Singhal left and criticised the Prime Minister, although more subtly. He said in a press conference last week that the country needed a leader who combined the “qualities” of Shivaji, Ariel Sharon and George Bush Junior.

RSS chief K.S. Sudarshan was to have intervened to end the verbal duel. But Kishore’s outburst today indicated that Sudarshan had kept off.

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