Friday, March 29, 2002, Chandigarh, India


M A I N   N E W S

VHP takes dig at Vajpayee
Says Hindus not fundamentalists

New Delhi, March 28
Brushing aside Prime Minister Atal Behari Vajpayee’s criticism of “Hindu fundamentalism,” the VHP said today if Mr Vajpayee wanted to keep off the Hindutva forces it would hardly make a difference to them.

“If at all he wants to keep a distance, let him do so. Who is stopping him. We are not bothered,” VHP Vice-President Acharya Giriraj Kishore said while talking to reporters here.

Hindu society, he said, was not run by political power but on the strength of “dharma” (religion) and “adhyatam” (spiritualism).

Asked what kind of fundamentalism the Prime Minister could be referring to, he said: “It must be in his brain. Hindus are never fundamentalists.”

The VHP leader also had a dig at Mr Vajpayee and Home Minister L.K. Advani for their decision not to celebrate Holi in the wake of the communal riots in Gujarat.

“All those who are doing so are pseudo-secular and are indulging in minority appeasement,” he said in response to a question.

However, he said the VHP had decided not to celebrate Holi in protest against the Godhra incident in which scores of “Ram sevaks” were massacred.

The Acharya also gave a clean chit to Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi for his handling of the communal riots in the state, saying that he did whatever was possible.

“The VHP will not celebrate Holi on account of the Godhra carnage. We appeal to all Hindus not to celebrate Holi in memory of the victims,” he said.

In an apparent reference to the uproar in Parliament over the Gujarat violence and condemnation of the Sangh Parivar, he said “Unfortunately, forum of elected representatives are being used to humiliate Hindus.” UNI, PTIBack


BJP notice to Singhal

New Delhi, March 28
The BJP MP, Mr B.P. Singhal, who had asked Prime Minister Atal Behari Vajpayee to resign in the wake of “bullying” by NDA partners, has been issued a show-cause notice by the party.

The notice to Mr Singhal asking him to explain his remarks was given by the party leader in Rajya Sabha and External Affairs Minister Jaswant Singh, BJP spokesman Sunil Shastri told reporters here today.

A day after advocating BJP’s return to the Hindutva line at a meeting of the BJP Parliamentary Party, Mr Singhal had on March 20 said Prime Minister Vajpayee should resign to counter “frequent bullying” by NDA allies on the Ayodhya issue. PTIBack

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