Saturday, November 16, 2002, Chandigarh, India

National Capital Region--Delhi


M A I N   N E W S

VHP rejects PM’s appeal
Ready to face any consequences

Ahmedabad, November 15
The VHP today rejected Prime Minister Atal Behari Vajpayee’s appeal not to go ahead with its controversial yatra and said it was planning to carry the model of the S-6 coach in its march from Godhra on Sunday.

Addressing newspersons here after a three-hour high-level meeting of the top brass of VHP and Bajrang Dal to discuss further course of action following Gujarat Government’s refusal to grant permission for the yatra, VHP international general secretary Praveen Togadia said: “I am going ahead with the yatra to uphold the fundamental rights of Hindu society.”

Referring to the Prime Minister’s advice not to go ahead with the yatra, the VHP leader said: “I expect the PM to safeguard the basic fundamental rights of the Hindus and not succumb to pressure from secular forces”.

“We are ready to face any consequences but we will go ahead with the yatra,” Togadia asserted.

Referring to Vajpayee’s advice of not to use Godhra incident as a poll issue, the VHP leader stressed that “Godhra is the heart of Hindutva and it is impossible to forget the gruesome Godhra carnage”.

“Godhra is the part of the issue,” he added.

Giving details of the yatra, Togadia said before commencing the yatra from Science College Ground in Godhra, ‘puja’ will be performed in Karnavati (Ahmedabad) in presence of Acharya Dharmendra Maharaj.

“I am Shivaji — protector of Hindu religion,” will be the message of the ‘footmarch’ which will stop at least 200 places in the entire 21-day journey, Togadia said. He reiterated that the VHP had no plans to enter mainstream politics.

“All the arrangements for the kick-off are almost done. And it is in the wake of the Prime Minister’s speech that we are conveying our resolve to media as well as the entire nation,” Togadia said. PTI

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