On the day Gujarat’s Narendra Modi became the first Chief Minister to be named a member of Bharatiya Janata Party’s highest decision-making body, the sangh parivar hardened its stance on the Ayodhya Ram temple issue at an event in his Assembly constituency of Maninagar.
Mr. Modi skipped the event presided over by RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat, but had separate meetings with BJP veteran L.K. Advani and senior leader Murli Manohar Joshi.
Mr. Bhagwat and Vishwa Hindu Parishad international general secretary Pravin Togadia raised the pitch for construction of a Ram Mandir at Ayodhya. “Unless and until we will become Hindus, not only by our behaviour, but with our practice and awareness, only then will our dream of building Ram Mandir at Ayodhya be fulfilled,” Mr. Togadia said.
Mr. Togadia, who has been at loggerheads with the Gujarat Chief Minister for some years now, asserted that there was a growing feeling of insecurity among Hindus, which persisted even in Gujarat. He lambasted the Sadbhavna fast undertaken by Mr. Modi and without naming the Chief Minister said people who were embracing Muslims were not concerned about Hindus.
Mr. Bhagwat in his address said the VHP would organise a ‘Ram Jap’ programme between April 11 and April 13 demanding construction of the Ram Temple.
“Gujarat a Hindu State by 2015”
At the Maninagar event, Mr. Togadia claimed that VHP would declare Gujarat a “Hindu State” by 2015 besides having its presence in all 18,000 villages of the State in the next two years.
The event was organised by the VHP to launch a new movement called ‘Hindu Ahead, for Hindu Security and Prosperity’.
Invoking the issue of the “insecure Hindu,” the VHP leader said: “To protect and prosper, Hindus themselves have to gear up, by becoming true practising Hindus, aware Hindus and active Hindus.”