Togadia slams PM, begins indefinite fast for Ram Temple

Togadia slams PM, begins indefinite fast for Ram Temple

Former VHP leader Pravin Togadia hit out at Prime Minister Narendra Modi on several fronts as he began his indefinite fast in Ahmedabad on Tuesday seeking a law for the construction of a Ram Temple in Ayodhya.

“You had said that you would sort out all issues once you have a majority with a snap of fingers. For the last four years, I have been waiting with a machine to my ears, to listen to my brother and our Prime Minister Narendra Modi snap his fingers and solve the problems,” Togadia said while taking a dig at Modi.

Beginning his fast outside the VHP office in the city, 62-year-old Togadia was supported by a motley group of saints and supporters.

Interestingly, he began his fast without receiving the statutory permission to hold his event by local authorities. However, there was a sizeable police presence at the venue.

“Our demand is for a law to be passed by Parliament facilitating a Ram Temple, ban on cow slaughter and a Uniform Civil Code,” Togadia said.

Continuing his tirade against Modi, Togadia indirectly hinted that he had been offered chief ministership of Gujarat in the past and went on to attack the Prime Minister on his economic policies and governance.

“You did U-turn on MNREGA, on Aadhaar and on GST. By bringing demonetisation and GST, you have killed the business of businessmen,” he said.

A former surgeon by profession, Togadia emerged as one of the key firebrand leaders from Gujarat fighting for the cause of the Hindu community.

Along with Modi, Togadia is said to have played a key role in helping deepen the impact of the RSS and the BJP ideology in the state and across the country.

However, sources in the saffron brigade maintain that Togadia was always suspected to be backing leaders from his Patel community in critical times.

This, they say had seen him drift away from Modi, beginning with his support for Keshubhai Patel during Keshubhai’s political wrangling with Modi over a decade-and-a-half ago.

In recent times, Togadia is said to be backing Patel quota stir leader Hardik Patel in his fight against the BJP.

Togadia's ouster from the VHP is seen in this context. Though the RSS and the BJP have made more than one attempts since Monday to convince Togadia not to go ahead with his fast.

While three RSS leaders had come to meet Togadia on Monday, a senior BJP leader from the state, Surendra Patel, called on Togadia just before he was about to begin his fast.

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