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Don’t need govt nod for our yatra: VHP

A day after the UP government denied permission for the Vishwa Hindu Parishad’s ‘84 kosi parikrama’ around Ayodhya,yatra organisers Tuesday said they had not sought permission from the government but only informed it about the 20-day yatra

Written by Express News Service | Lucknow | Published: August 21, 2013 3:51:31 am

A day after the UP government denied permission for the Vishwa Hindu Parishad’s ‘84 kosi parikrama’ around Ayodhya,yatra organisers Tuesday said they had not sought permission from the government but only informed it about the 20-day yatra.

Yatra organising committee member and former union minister Swami Chinmayanand Saraswati said: “It is a religious yatra of saints and we do not need any permission from the state government. VHP had only informed the government about the yatra route and schedule through a letter on August 10.”

He said the government had officially not informed them about its decision.

He said the parikrama held in April was for the ordinary public while the upcoming yatra is exclusively for saints.

Chinmayanand said the UP government’s move has agitated the saints and they are ready to court arrest on August 25. “Our delegation met SP president Mulayam Singh Yadav and Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav on August 17. In these seven days,the government did not inform us about any objection. Even Mulayam and Akhilesh had not opposed the yatra during the meeting. They had some objections about the route only.”

In a statement,however,VHP patron Ashok Singhal said that during the Saturday meeting,Mulayam had dropped hints that the saints should call off the parikrama in view of the aggressive designs of China and Pakistan.

“On there being no comment on this from the saints,he said the 84-kosi yatra dates are fixed,this yatra takes place in Chaitra,and,therefore,no new tradition could be initiated. On this,we made it clear that 84-kosi yatra is a tradition that has been there for thousands of years and which can be undertaken at any time of the year,” Singhal said.

Singhal said Mulayam had told the delegation that he would make efforts,after consultations with the local authorities,so that the yatra could take place.

“At no point during the conversation did the delegation have an inkling that Mulayam was against this yatra,” Singhal said. “We would request Mulayam and Akhilesh that they should review their decision.”

VHP spokesperson in Ayodhya Sharad Sharma said preparations were on in full swing for the yatra. “Mathsand ashrams are prepared to welcome the seers who will come from across the country. Places of stay,refreshment,lunch and dinner and prayers on the route are decided. Around 70 seers from Maharashtra will reach here on August 25 morning to start the yatra,” Sharma said.

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