Drive out Bangladeshis not North Indians: Togadia tells Sena, MNS

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Nagpur, Mar 8 (UNI) Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP) International General Secretary Pravin Togadia has called upon the Shiv Sena and the Maharashtra Navnirman Sena (MNS) to drive out illegal Bangladeshi immigrants rather than targeting people from North India.

Speaking to reporters here today, Mr Togadia said there were five lakh illegal Bangladeshi immigrants in Mumbai alone. ''If North Indians left the city, then they will be replaced by more illegal immigrants from Bangladesh. That will be a disaster,'' he said.

If the five lakh Bangladeshis were driven out, it will automatically create that many jobs for Indians and residents of the metropolis, Mr Togadia said.

Leaders of the Shiv Sena and MNS should not target North Indians, since they were, after all, Indian citizens and Hindus, he said, adding, ''If we have to fight outsiders at all, we should be fighting the illegal aliens.'' Mr Togadia said that the VHP would not allow the issue of Ram Setu to be ''politicised by any one party'' at the forthcoming Lok Sabha elections. ''The issue is bound to influence the voters as it is very important. However, we will not tell the voters whom to vote for.

They are intelligent enough to know,'' the VHP International General Secretary said.

Criticising what he described as the ''double standards'' of the Centre, Mr Togadia said on one hand, the Government had asserted that state policy could not be directed by religious considerations, and on the other, it had made a special provision of Rs 1,000 crore in the recent budget for minorities.

''In its affidavit before the Supreme Court in connection with the Ram Setu case, the Government had said the Apex Court should not force the Centre to make a decision on an issue of religious belief. However, the Government had asked the people to accept the court's decision on the Ram Janmabhoomi temple, which also was an issue of religious belief,'' Mr Togadia said.

The VHP would intensify its ongoing agitation to protect the Ram Setu over the next few weeks, Mr Togadia said, but did not say what form the movement would take.

The saints leading the movement would make the decision at the appropriate time, he added.

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