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Since 1st March, 1999
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Naidu rejects VHP temple law demand

New Delhi, June 26 (PTI): The Vishwa Hindu Parishad today sought to pressure the BJP into bringing a legislation to facilitate construction of a Ram temple in Ayodhya, but the party said it had no intention of forcing the hands of its allies.

VHP vice-president Acharya Giriraj Kishore told reporters after a meeting of the outfit’s executive that the organisation would intensify its agitation if Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee fails to come out in favour of such a law.

“Since BJP members got elected on the Ram temple issue, they should tender their resignation” if Parliament fails to enact the legislation, he said.

The VHP leader said 125 MPs from the BJP and parties like the Biju Janata Dal and the Shiv Sena have already signed in favour of constructing a Ram temple.

He added that if Vajpayee did not, a meeting could be organised in Lucknow, the Prime Minister’s Lok Sabha constituency.

“He might be the Prime Minister in his Cabinet, but in his constituency, he is only an MP like others,” Kishore said. “Then why will he be an exception'” The VHP leader said a jan jagaran andolan would be launched from July 10.

In Chennai, BJP president M. Venkaiah Naidu ruled out bringing a law for temple construction in Ayodhya. “We do not want to force our allies with the legislation,” he said.

Naidu told reporters his party would not deviate from the agenda of the National Democratic Alliance and the VHP should understand the BJP’s position.

The BJP chief welcomed the initiative taken by the Sankaracharya of Kanchi, Swami Jayendra Saraswati, to resolve the Ayodhya tangle. In an apparent bid to placate the VHP’s feelings of being bypassed on the issue, he said everybody would be involved in the negotiations. There is no question of bypassing anybody, he added.

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