New Delhi, Sept. 14: The VHP today said it would unleash a “Hindu movement” and build a Ram temple at Ayodhya amid indications of endorsement from the Sangh and winks from at least a section of the BJP as election time draws near.
After a meeting of the VHP here, its leader Praveen Togadia declared: “We are not seeking the permission of any political party for building a Ram temple. We do not care if it pleases or displeases anybody.”
The statement was clearly targeted at the BJP and the Vajpayee government, which has frequently been embarrassed by the acts and announcements of the VHP. “A Hindu movement has been unleashed to put an end to jihad,” Togadia announced.
The VHP is going to lay down an action plan to make good its pledge to build a temple at its margdarshak mandal meeting beginning here tomorrow.
A less strident, but an equally determined, vow came from the Sangh. In Bhopal, RSS spokesman Ram Madhav said that if the road was not cleared for temple construction, the Sangh would launch a “massive mobilisation of national will”.
His comments and Togadia’s ultimatum came a day after a meeting between top BJP and RSS leaders where the Ayodhya issue as well as the question of “greater co-ordination” with the VHP were discussed.
BJP chief M. Venkaiah Naidu today said the party was committed to the temple movement, which, he claimed, had received a moral boost after the Archaeological Survey of India said a structure existed at the spot where the Babri Masjid had stood.
There was no deviation from the party’s and the government’s stand, though, that a legislation to hand over the disputed site for temple construction could not be enacted because it will be defeated in the Rajya Sabha where the BJP does not have majority.
Naidu said polls — coming up in November — and the temple were unrelated. He also said the BJP would not join any agitation for a temple. But his statement indicating that the ASI finding has provided encouragement to the movement matches with the RSS and VHP sentiments.