Ayodhya Ram Temple-Babri Masjid: After holding dharma sabhas across the country demanding an ordinance to enable construction of a Ram temple in Ayodhya and later holding a Dharma Sansad at the Kumbh Mela on the issue last week, the Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP) Tuesday announced that it will not hold any agitational programme on the Ram Janmabhoomi issue for the next four months until the Lok Sabha elections are over.
The VHP’s surprise announcement comes barely a week after the BJP-led NDA government moved the Supreme Court seeking permission to return the 67 acres of land in Ayodhya — adjacent to the disputed site — to its original owners including the Ram Janmabhoomi Nyas.
This was decided at the recent Dharma Sansad in Prayagraj, the VHP said.
Speaking to The Indian Express, VHP international working president Alok Kumar said: “We will not do any agitational programme in next four months. It has been decided because everybody has a feeling that such agitations at the time of elections, including the demand of building a Ram temple, become a petty electoral issue and get involved into politics. It was felt that this issue should be saved from politics for the next four months.” Read in Bangla
Asked what would the VHP’s stand be if the Supreme Court, hearing the title suits case, delivers a verdict, Kumar said: “Our plan is irrespective of the court order. If there is any emergency situation, then we will take guidance from the sants.” If the court proceedings are delayed, that, too, will not affect the VHP’s decision, he said.
Relief for Govt, signal to allies
This reduces pressure on the BJP government and lowers the heat ahead of polls. Though the PM underlined primacy of the legal process, the government filed a petition to allow release of land adjacent to the disputed site. The VHP's rethink will also address anxieties among BJP's allies going into the polls -- and may help post-poll too.
VHP joint general secretary Surendra Jain said that the central government has taken a positive step by moving the Supreme Court to get back the “undisputed” land. “Now if we announce any agitation or movement, it will be said that we are doing that to help a particular political party in elections. We do not want this holy movement to become a political issue. Hence, it has been decided that no situation of conflict or misconception will be allowed during the elections… we do not want to allow anyone to drag this issue into politics.”
After four months, the VHP will review the situation and plan its next step, Kumar said. “We will do mass awakening programme but not any agitation,” he said. He said that when the agitation is done, various political parties take a stand either in favour or against the issue. “But we want a consensus on the issue,” he said.