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News updated at 9:15 PM IST

VHP to keep temple issue burning

Lucknow, August 26, 2013, DHNS: 1:01 IST
Buoyed by the “support” of the Gujarat chief minister and BJP election campaign committee head Narendra Modi, the Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP) has decided to keep the Ram Temple issue on the boil “at least” till the next Lok Sabha elections.

VHP leaders, who feel that the general election may be advanced and held in November-December this year, said here that the “real battle for the temple will begin from October. It will be a massive agitation.”

VHP president Ashok Singhal has already declared that the outfit “will hold one lakh sankalp sabhas” throughout the country if Parliament does not enact legislation paving the way for the construction of the Ram temple in Ayodhya by October 18 this year.

The VHP leaders said the BJP was extending “full support” to the movement. Former BJP legislator from Ayodhya, Lallu Singh, was also among those arrested by the police on Sunday.

Modi’s protege and BJP general secretary Amit Shah, who is also in charge of the state unit, had dropped enough hints that the party, besides propagating the Gujarat model and taking up developmental issues, would not hesitate to rake up issues related to “Hindutva” ideology.

Shah made it clear that the Ram temple issue was very much on the agenda of the BJP. “We had never abandoned the Ram temple issue. We are committed to constructing a grand Ram Temple in Ayodhya,” he had said. The BJP could “actively participate” in the VHP’s proposed agitation for the Ram temple. “The party will take a call on the issue of taking part in the VHP agitation once we receive a proposal from it in this regard,” he said.

Political observers point out that districts chosen by the VHP for their foiled yatra include those from where the Congress had won a majority of seats in the 2009 Lok Sabha elections.

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