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VHP Dharma Sammelan begins today
Subhrangshu Gupta

Kolkata, June 27
The Vishva Hindu Parisad (VHP), which has chosen Bengal as its second main base after Uttar Pradesh for spreading Hindutva and launching the second phase of the movement for a Ram temple at Ayodhya, begins a week-long Dharma Sammelan at the city’s Maharashtra Nivas Hall from tomorrow.

The main purpose of the sammelan is to prepare a strategy for effectively spreading the concept of a Hindutva nation widely by converting other religious-minded people to Hindusim, according to Acharya Giriraj Kishore.

The week-long meeting will also finalise the VHP’s future stand on the BJP vis-ŕ-vis the Ram temple and Hindutva.

The VHP leadership, including Mr Ashok Singhal and Acharya Giriraj Kishore, had criticised the Vajpayee government for betraying the nation on the Ayodhya issue by hurting the religious sentiments of millions of people, which they said, had been the cause of their defeat in the Lok Sabha elections.

Strongly reacting to the VHP’s proposed Dharma Sammelan, the Chief Minister, Mr Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee, advised the BJP and the VHP workers to peacefully conduct their sammelan. Any attempt to disturb the peace and harmony among the people in the state would be firmly dealt with, he warned.

The Acharya said they had no quarrel with any religion or other political parties. But we feel Hindutva alone can bring real freedom to the people from their bondage and there has been no clash between Hindutva and secularism, he observed.

At the week-long Dharma Sammelan, we will be striving at to constitute a “think-tank” for leading us in the right direction to achieving our goal, he remarked.

About a dozen top leaders of the VHP, including Parveen Togadia, Ashok Singhal,Giriraj Kishore and Bhupendra Modi arrived in Kolkata for attending the Dharma Sammelan, where about 200 sadhus from Uttar Pradesh and other states will also be present.

Though it is called a Dharma Sammelan by Giriraj Kishore, it will be the VHP’s national conference. On July 3 , the VHP national leaders will also hold a conference with the workers and supporters of their Bengal unit at Nazrul Manch in south Kolkata.

The VHP leadership in the state claimed that there had been a tremendous response from the people, particularly, in the Indo-Bangladesh border districts for actively participating in their movement for building a Ram temple at Ayodhya.

He alleged that the CPM and other Left parties with the help of the state administration had been preventing them from joining the movement.

Still over 200,000 persons in the districts have recently joined the VHP and the RSS in support of their cause, the BJP state president, Mr Tathagata Roy, claimed. He held the view that the BJP in the state would only be strengthened with the backing of the VHP and the RSS and not merely by depending on the Trinamool Congress. The state BJP should move accordingly in the future, he demanded.

In the proposed workers’ conference at Nazrul Manch, he himself would urge the leadership to allow the state BJP to move accordingly.

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