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Togadia begins fast, says Modi will face backlash if demands of Hindus not met

By PTI
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    Former VHP leader Pravin Togadia on Tuesday began an indefinite fast here to press his demands, including construction of a Ram temple in Ayodhya, and said Prime Minister Narendra Modi would face a "Hindu backlash" in the general elections if the issues were not settled.

    Pravin Togadia

    Togadia, 62, alleged the BJP and Modi had "breached the trust" of 100 crore Hindus by "not honouring the promises made ahead of 2014 (polls)".

    "Building Ram Mandir was not my demand. It was a demand of the RSS, the Jan Sangh, the BJP and the VHP for several years. When the BJP was not in power, all these outfits had promised Hindus that the temple will be built when our government assumes power.

    "At that time, you (Modi) never said that we will follow the order of the Supreme Court," Togadia said, referring to the Ayodhya title suit pending before the apex court.

    "You breached the trust of Hindus. Narendra bhai, do not forget that you gained power because Hindus spilled their blood. If promises are not fulfilled in one year, people will give a befitting reply in 2019," he said at the venue of the fast outside the state VHP headquarters in the Paldi area.

    Togadia also slammed Modi on imposition of the note ban in 2016, rolling out of the GST, approving 100 per cent FDI in the retail sector and suicides by farmers.

    The Hindutva leader, who quit the post of VHP international working president last week after his nominee Raghav Reddy lost a key organisational poll to former Himachal Pradesh Governor V S Kokje, launched the fast after 12 noon with some Hindu seers and supporters.

    Togadia had earlier said his hunger strike would be aimed at ensuring welfare of Hindus and to draw attention to his demands.

    These included construction of a Ram Temple at Ayodhya, a nation-wide ban on cow slaughter, enforcement of the common civil code and resettlement of displaced Kashmiri Pandits.

    The surgeon-turned-firebrand leader had launched a scathing attack on Prime Minister Narendra Modi after he quit the VHP, a right-wing outfit with which he had been associated for decades.

    Earlier, Togadia was to sit on fast at GMDC Ground, but the police denied permission after which the venue was earlier today shifted to outside the VHP headquarters.

    PTI

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