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Ayodhya issue: Is VHP dancing to BJP tune?

Ayodhya issue: Is VHP dancing to BJP tune?
Highlights

The decision of the Vishva Hindu Parishad VHP, to postpone its agitation on Ram Janmabhoomi issue comes as a breather to the beleaguered BJP leadership Though it is only just one problem less for the party, it gives them room for preparing for the elections without much hassle

The decision of the Vishva Hindu Parishad (VHP), to postpone its agitation on Ram Janmabhoomi issue comes as a breather to the beleaguered BJP leadership. Though it is only just one problem less for the party, it gives them room for preparing for the elections without much hassle.

If the Vishva Hindu Parishad were not to pass the resolution and if it were to go ahead with its agitation as planned, despite the matter being in the court, the BJP would have had problems not only within but also with the likes of Lok Janshakti Party which have proclaimed that Ram Janmabhoomi or Ayodhya was not its cup of tea. What provoked the Vishva Hindu Parishad to distance itself from the declared programme is not known. But, it would not be farther from the truth to say it had come under pressure.

The Parishad itself has weakened nowadays and is being handled by a weakened leadership. It was a different story when Ashok Singhal and Praveen Togadia likes were leading it. They could have taken on the BJP without any discomfort. However, now that Modi-Shah duo have become successful in relegating Praveen Togadia to a corner, the Vishva Hindu Parishad is a lot paler. In fact, Praveen Togadia had gone ahead and alleged that the Rashtriya Swayam Sevak Sangh was no more interested in the Hindutva or welfare of Hindus as was conceived in establishing it and was working more for the Muslims.

This had only distanced him further from the Sangh Parivar leading to his declaration that he was no more a VHP member. Could be that there is pressure from Modi-Shah ensemble in this regard. What other members of the Dharma Sansad now say or what other outfits which have proclaimed that they would go ahead with building the Bhavya Ram Mandir at the disputed site irrespective of the legal outcome (the matter is pending in the apex court).

The plea made by the VHP for putting on hold its agitation for four months, ostensibly, was that elections should be treated as a national festival of democracy and any agitation for Ram Mandir would give the pseudo secular forces of the country an opportunity to drag the holy and important movement of Sri Ram Janmabhoomi into a political vortex and swamp.

It was further justified that the Government had filed a petition in the Supreme Court seeking permission to return 67 acres of undisputed land to the original owners, Ram Janmabhoomi Nyas and hence it would lead to handing over the disputed land too to the Hindus soon. Perhaps, the VHP wanted a face saver and the Centre did offer just that.

Whatever could be the reason for the move made by the BJP-led Centre, it had only helped it clear some of the cobwebs. Pressure for the temple right now would have come handy for the Opposition to bond further. The Centre is not only deliberately pushing the entire Opposition to a corner using the CBI and the ED, but also attempting to consolidate its Hindu vote. Perhaps, the VHP is a willing player here.

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