January 31, 2002, Chandigarh, India
Temple issue: VHP’s defiance worries BJP
New Delhi, January 30
While the Prime Minister made it very clear to the VHP on Sunday that the construction should follow the court verdict or the outcome of mutual negotiations, the VHP had conveyed to the BJP leadership and the government that it could not afford to postpone the construction anymore.
Realising that the party’s electoral prospects in the coming assembly elections in Uttar Pradesh would be seriously affected by the party’s stand on the Ayodhya issue, the party high command has decided to make a reference to the issue in its manifesto which is slated to be released in Lucknow on February 2. The manifesto, according to sources, will say that the Vajpayee government will try to act as a “facilitator” for getting the issue resolved and the court verdict expedited.
Though the meeting at the Ramlila ground on Sunday afternoon was well attended but it was also a reminder to the VHP leadership that its control over the sants and sadhus was slowly but surely slipping away.
The meeting was organised by the local unit of the BJP and followers of different saints.
Despite the presence of the RSS Joint General Secretary (Sah Sarkarvah) Ms Madandas Devi, on the podium of the VHP meeting at the Ramlila ground on Sunday, the Prime Minister and Home Minister L.K. Advani were lambasted by many speakers including Acharya Dharmendra who used abusive language.
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