VHP changes conversion plan to dharm sammelans

Wants to avoid 'controversy' during Modi's Varanasi trip

The Vishwa Hindu Parishad and other saffron outfits may have backed off from their proposed mass conversion programmes in Uttar Pradesh under the Centre’s pressure but they have not given up yet.

The saffron outfits have, in a change of strategy, now decided to hold dharm sammelans (religious meetings) in an apparent bid to keep the conversion issue alive in the days to come.

“We have not cancelled our mass conversion programmes. They have only been deferred. It will continue to be on top of our agenda,” said a VHP leader while speaking to Deccan Herald here on Sunday.

The VHP had planned a big ghar vapasi (home coming) programme at Varanasi, the Lok Sabha constituency of Prime Minister Narendra Modi on December 25, the birthday of former prime minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee but it called it off after the Centre’s intervention.

Incidentally, Modi would be visiting Varanasi on the same day.
VHP leaders here said the Varanasi conversion event had been cancelled only owing to Modi’s visit.

“We did not want to create any controversy during the Prime Minister’s visit,” the VHP leader said.

“The dharm sammelans will be organised after January 4,” he added.
VHP has also been trying to rope in the services of senior saints and religious leaders based at Allahabad, Varanasi, Ayodhya, Vrindavan and some other important religious places in the state to succeed in its attempts to encourage conversion.

“Some of the shankaracharyas are with us. We are trying to rope in some other senior saints, who commands respect in the community,” the VHP leader asserted.
Kashi Sumeru Peethadheeshwar Swami Narednranand Saraswati has already declared his support to the conversion.

“Conversion is a continuing process and there is nothing wrong in it. We are not forcing anyone to return,” he said.

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