Pravin Togadia to contest LS polls from Ayodhya

Pravin Togadia to contest LS polls from Ayodhya

Former Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP) leader Pravin Togadia announces the launch of his new political party Hindusthan Nirman Dal (HND), in New Delhi, on Saturday. PTI

Former VHP leader Pravin Togadia on Saturday announced his foray into electoral politics by launching his political party — Hindustan Nirman Dal.

Togadia, considered to be the bete-noire of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, also declared that he will contest the upcoming Lok Sabha elections from Ayodhya.

Togadia said his party would contest all the Lok Sabha seats in Gujarat and Uttar Pradesh.

Once a poster-boy of the Ram Janmabhoomi movement and a close confidant of Modi, Togadia had a public fall-out with the prime minister last year when he was found unconscious in a bylane in Ahmedabad.

Togadia, then the acting president of the VHP, had accused the prime minister of conspiring with the Ahmedabad Crime Branch to harass him and his supporters.

Last year, his candidate for the post of VHP's International President was defeated in the internal election. Togadia later launched a separate outfit Antarrashtriya Hindu Parishad (AHP).

Togadia's fortunes in his home state Gujarat witnessed a down-turn after Modi became the chief minister in 2001. All the frontal organisation of the Sangh Parivar had shifted allegiance to Modi, leaving Togadia a mute spectator.

On Saturday, Togadia expressed his resolve to begin construction of the Ram Temple within no time, if elected to power. Besides, he said his outfit would also work for rehabilitation of Kashmiri pandits, strict action against illegal migration, population control measures and a common civil code.