Togadia to conduct Lucknow-Ayodhya march for Ram temple
Ahmedabad, Oct 6: Former VHP leader Pravin Togadia on Friday (Oct 5) said he would lead a march from Lucknow to Ayodhya from October 21 if the Centre failed to bring an ordinance to build a Ram temple in Ayodhya.
AHP President Pravin Togadia
Accusing the National Democratic Alliance (NDA) government of "betrayal", he said the BJP sought votes in the name of Ram temple, but forgot about the issue after coming to power.
"The BJP grew close to power on the promise of Ram temple. They demanded votes in the name of Ram temple," the former Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP) leader told reporters.
"The BJP promised that when they will have a full majority in Parliament they will bring in a law to build temple (in Ayodhya)," he added. Togadia further said Hindus were hurt as the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) had earlier promised it will take legislative route for building a Ram temple in Ayodhya if it gets a majority in Parliament, but even after four-and-a-half years it has done nothing.
"In the last four-and-a-half years, when Hindu organisations, leaders and saints started demanding a law for Ram Temple, they tried to suppress and stifle every voice. They have betrayed us," said Togadia.
Babri Masjid at Ayodhya
The surgeon-turned-Hindutva leader, who quit the VHP in April this year after his nominee lost an organisational poll, hit out at the BJP and the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) over the temple issue.
"I had constantly put forward the demand to build a Ram temple by passing a law in House in the last four years, but the RSS and the BJP tried to suppress my voice," he said.
"I decided to leave the organisation (VHP) instead of keeping mum on the demand which I have been raising for the last 32 years," he added.
The 61-year-old, who had floated a new outfit-- Antarrashtriya Hindu Parishad (AHP) after leaving VHP, also criticised Prime Minister Narendra Modi. "We had elected Narendra Modi to be an advocate of Ram temple, but he became an advocate of Muslim women. The triple talaq bill was brought in promptly," he said.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi
"The Union government went ahead and overturned the Supreme Court verdict on SC/ST law and a special ordinance was passed. The GST bill was passed overnight," he added. "But when we asked for a law for a Ram temple, they gave meek excuses like wait for a Supreme Court verdict," Togadia said.
Supreme Court of India
The AHP will organise 'Chalo Ayodhya' (March to Ayodhya) from Lucknow on October 21 and millions of Hindus, including saints, will join us, he said.
"If an ordinance or law for building a Ram Temple is not introduced by that time then we will announce further action from Ayodhya," he said, adding that the march will be democratic and peaceful.
Asked if he had the necessary permissions from the ruling BJP government in Uttar Pradesh, Togadia said Mahant Avaidyanath, the late guru of the state's chief minister Yogi Adityanath, was once associated with the Ram temple movement and so he was confident that he will get all the required approvals.