At a time when Minister of State, Minority Affairs, Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi has decided to tour minority populated areas for damage control after the ‘ghar wapsi’ controversy, former BJP MP and senior Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP) leader Ram Vilas Vedanti has announced to organise a grand “ghar wapsi’ for over 3000 Muslims at Ayodhya in February.
Speaking to The Indian Express, Vedanti claimed that nearly 3000 Muslims, who had converted to Islam from the Hindu religion several years ago, will adopt Hinduism in the ‘ghar wapsi’ event. He also claimed that these Muslims belong to Faizabad, Ambedkar Nagar, Bahraich, Gonda, Shrawasti, Basti and Siddarth Nagar districts.
“After the recent ghar wapsi event held in Agra, several converted Muslim families from these districts contacted me and expressed desire to get back to Hindu religion. I have asked them to provide me a list of such families who want to come back,” Vedanti said.
He also said that the event would be organised after February 6 with the joint effort of VHP and RSS. He has planned the event after February 6 because VHP is organising a grand ‘Hindu Sammelan’ in Faizabad on that day in which VHP working president Praveen Togadia will address the gathering.
Earlier, Vedanti had planned to hold the event at his residence ‘Hindu Dham’ in Ayodhya but he is planning to change the venue as he expects a large gathering now.
“The date and exact venue of the ‘ghar wapsi’ programme will be decided soon with consensus of local office bearers of VHP and RSS,” Vedanti said.
Vedanti was BJP MP from Machhlishahr in 1996 and from Pratapgarh in 1998. He had lost the election in 1999 from Machhlishahr against Samajwadi Party and in 2004 from Amethi against Congress’s Rahul Gandhi. He was denied a ticket in the 2009 and 2014 Lok Sabha elections.
RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat had recently justified the Sangh’s ‘ghar wapsi’ campaign and in a Virat Hindu Sammelan in Kolkata, he had said that “we will bring back our brothers who have lost their way”.
The Dharm Jagran cell of the RSS had organised ‘ghar wapsi’ in Agra on December 8 where 57 Muslim families were allegedly re-converted to Hindu religion. Dharm Jagran leader Nand Kishore Valimiki was also arrested for the alleged conversion of Muslims.
The state government had issued an alert to prevent forced conversion in the state and after the Agra controversy, Dharm Jagran had called off another ‘ghar wapsi’ programme planned in Aligarh on December 25.