VHP raises temple issue ahead of polls

VHP raises temple issue ahead of polls

In a bid to keep the vexed Ram temple issue in the limelight ahead of next year’s Assembly elections in Uttar Pradesh, the Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP) has decided to organise Ram Mahotsav across every village in the country beginning from Chaitra Navratra (beginning of the new year according to Hindu calender) in April this year.

The VHP also plans to rake up the Ram temple issue during the nine-day long Ram Mahotsav festivities, which will culminate on the day of Ramnavami.

VHP spokesman Sharad Sharma said that the Mahotsav would be organised through the Ram Samitis. “We plan to cover all the villages in the country...we already have Ram Samitis in around 75,000 villages...we will form such committees in other villages”', Sharma told Deccan Herald over telephone from Ayodhya. He said that saints and seers from across the country would be delivering sermons during the Mahotsav.

He said that the samitis would ensure that people visited the local Ram temples and paid obeisance there. “They (committees) may construct new temples or worship before a picture of Lord Rama”, he added.

Asked if the issue of Ram temple construction at Ayodhya would also be included in the sermons, Sharma said that it is quite natural that it will'. “Ram Lala (the makeshift Ram temple in which the idol of Lord Rama is kept) is under tarpaulin”, the VHP leader said.

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