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Ayodhya seers back Sonia Gandhi

Ayodhya, May 18
A section of Ayodhya saints and seers have welcomed the elevation of Congress President Sonia Gandhi as the leader of the united progressive alliance at the Centre.

Talking to UNI here today, All India Akhada Parishad president and Mahant of the famous Hanumangadhi temple Baba Gyandas observed that democracy would be strengthened if Ms Gandhi became the Prime Minister of the country.

“People have mandated that a government be formed under the leadership of the Congress President,’’ he added.

He also expressed his dismay over the foreign origin issue being raked by the BJP and other Sangh outfits.

Criticising BJP leader Sushma Swaraj over her utterances on the issue, the Mahant said Ms Swaraj should not have fought against Ms Gandhi from Bellary Parliamentary constituency in the 1999 Lok Sabha polls if she was so opposed to a foreigner.

Gyandas said the BJP should take lesson from the mandate and gauge the feelings of the people.

Hanumangadhi’s Mahant Ramesh Das lambasted the BJP, saying the party was at the helm for so long but could not resolve the Ayodhya issue. “The party has only misled the two communities for its own gains,’’ he charged.

Ramjanmabhumi Nyas President Mahant Nritya Gopal Das said the verdict of the people was supreme and it had to be accepted.

New Delhi: Eminent academics and social activists today strongly protested against the BJP and the RSS opposing the nomination of Congress Parliamentary Party leader Sonia Gandhi as Prime Minister, and said the pernicious “foreign origin’’ slogan was racist and discriminated against a citizen on the basis of place of origin.

Gathered under the ‘Defeat BJP Forum’, the academics demanded that the BJP, its affiliated organisations and its leaders be proceeded against and punished by the appropriate constitutional authorities if they failed to respect the Constitution and the verdict of the people, which was for Ms Gandhi.

Among those who spoke were noted Gandhian Nirmala Deshpande, eminent lawyer Shanti Bhushan, Prof Prabhat Patnaik and Prof Tanika Sarkar of the Jawaharlal Nehru University, and social activist Praful Bidwai.

Welcoming the electorate’s unambiguous rejection of the NDA, its “anti-people’’ economic policies and the divisive, “communal politics’’ of the BJP-led combine, they, however, expressed shock over the attempts by the BJP to derail the legitimate democratic process.

They also hit out at BJP leader Sushma Swaraj, Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Uma Bharti and BJP ideologue Govindacharya for their anti-democratic and anti-constitutional campaign against Ms Gandhi. — UNI

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