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SINGHAL

BJP ’betrayed’ Hindus on temple issue for staying in power: VHP

Monday 18 April 2005

VARANASI, APR 18 (PTI): Continuing its diatribe against BJP, the Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP) today charged the saffron party with "betraying" the Hindus on the temple issue for the sake of power at the centre.

Describing the BJP as "power hungry", VHP’s International President Ashok Singhal told PTI here that the saffron party "betrayed the Hindu community on various issues, including the Ram temple, for the sake of power at the centre." "The BJP had deliberately tried to wash its hands off the Ram temple issue citing the excuse of compulsions of the NDA’s Common Minimum Programme just to enjoy political power for six years (1998 to 2004)," he said.

"The saffron party’s prime objective of attaining power at the centre and sticking to its privileges at all costs proved to be the sole hindrance in the path of Ram temple construction at Ayodhya", Singhal said.

"The BJP could have executed the transfer of the undisputed land at Ayodhya to the Ram Janambhoomi Nyas Samiti in the wake of the Supreme Court order on the issue, but it did not not have the will power to do so fearing that such a decision could threaten the survival of the NDA government", the VHP President said.

He accused BJP of making attempts "to wear a secular look and appease the minority community" by its commitment to create two lakh jobs of Urdu teachers during its rule and said "the saffron party’s new-found love for secularism proved to be the reason for its electoral debacle".

"Now that the BJP has vainly tried to convert to a secular outfit by sidetracking its core issue, like its commitment to the Ram temple, the party will find it difficult to regain its erstwhile identity of a vibrant nationalist party," Singhal said.

"You can make buttermilk out of milk but not the other way round," Singhal said in reply to a question with regard to churning in a section of BJP leadership for a return to its core issues.

The VHP International President, however, disagreed that the Ram temple issue had lost its sheen in the wake of BJP’s posture on it and said the temple movement "may explode at an appropriate time".

There was a strong undercurrent in the Hindu community for taking the issue of Ram temple construction at Ayodhya to its logical conclusion, he claimed.

In a veiled threat to BJP leadership, he said a pro-Hindu party would emerge out of the saffron party "to highlight the vision of the majority community".

A majority of the people with pro-Hindu mindset might ensure the creation of such a party, he said, but refused to say whether BJP would split or sing a different tune.

Singhal declined to comment on RSS chief K S Sudarshan’s views that BJP President L K Advani and former Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee should retire to pave way for the young leadership.

Singhal, at the same time, took strong exception to former National Security Advisor Brajesh Mishra’s reported comments against the RSS chief and said he would react to Mishra’s remarks at an appropriate time.

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