Togadia on indefinite fast from Tuesday

Ousted Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP) leader Pravin Togadia. PTI photo

Ousted Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP) leader Pravin Togadia said that he was firm on his decision to hold an indefinite fast from Tuesday.

Togadia, who lost his position as international president of the VHP in the elections late last week and had to quit the organisation, has announced that he would be holding an indefinite sit-in and fast from Tuesday, pressing for the construction of Ram Temple in Ayodhya.

"As VHP, we have been saying that once we have majority in Parliament, we would pass a bill facilitating the construction of the Ram Temple. VHP even asked people to put their life at stake for the Ram Temple and give sacrifices to perform kar seva in Ayodhya. About 59 people gave their lives (Godhra train burning) and thousands others from Gujarat gave a lot of sacrifices," he said, giving the rationale for his fast.

Togadia even invited the current VHP international chief to either join him for the fast or separately put pressure for a bill in Parliament facilitating the construction of the Ram Temple.

Togadia also raised other issues and took an indirect dig at Prime Minister Narenra Modi. "The soldier is not safe on the boundary, the farmer is committing suicide and our girl child is not safe in our homes and the prime minister has gone on a foreign visit," Togadia said.

Asked whether he plans to float a new outfit, Togadia simply said, "Everything will depend on the situation arising after the fast".

Meanwhile, three top RSS leaders, Chintan Upadhyay, Yashwant Chaudhary and Hareshbhai Thakkar, called on Togadia for an hour-long meeting.

While the RSS leaders termed the meeting a courtesy visit, Togadia said, "They had come for a courtesy meet but when the topic of the fast was discussed, I told them that I am merely following principles of the RSS."

Taking an indirect dig at RSS supremo Mohan Bhagwat, who recently said that all the differences and issues in independent India must be sorted through courts and not on the streets, Togadia asked why demands for the Parliament to pass a law for the Ram Temple was made to previous governments.

"Now that you have majority, you are talking of courts," Togadia said.

In a related development, Togadia said that Mahavirji, a Sangh pracharak for over four decades and senior leader of VHP, had quit VHP and as RSS pracharak in his support.

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