Peeved at being taken for a ride first by L. K. Advani over the Ram Mandir issue and now the Congress-led UPA Government over closure of the already ‘closed' power projects on the Bhagirathi Ganga, the Vishwa Hindu Parishad and the All India Akhara Parishad have given a call for closure of temples and abstention from religious functions at the sanyasi camps put up for the Mahakumbh in Haridwar from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. on April 9. The holy men will remain inside the camps and silently chant the Hanuman Chalisa, it was told. (Official sources, however, maintained that projects that were stalled earlier had been scrapped now).
Announcing this after a Sant Sammelan, the VHP leader Ashok Singhal and Akhara Parishad president Mahant Gyan Das said the step had been announced to attract public attention over the politics being played over the Ram Mandir, Save Ganga and cow protection issues.
Mr Singhal accused BJP leader L.K. Advani of having used the Rath Yatra for political gains by giving up the Ram temple construction issue once in power.
Mahant Gyan Das accused the UPA Government of having fooled the sanyasis by announcing closure of the already closed 381 MW Bhaironghati and 480 MW Pala-Maneri hydroelectric projects on the Bhagirathi. These two projects wholly owned by Uttarakhand have been scrapped but many others, where the Central Government has a stake, continue to obstruct and destroy the Ganga, he said.
Now the call is to demolish the dams on the Ganga just like the Babri Masjid was demolished, the two said, adding that a Hanuman Chalisa campaign will be organized all over the country between August 16 and November 15 to create awareness over the sanctity and protection of the Ganga, construction of the Ram Temple and protection of cow.
The VHP, trying to whip up emotions at least among the holy men, seems to be upset over the absence of a good number of holy men from the Sanyasi Akharas at the Sant Sammelan. “The absentees have seen through the game of the VHP and other so called Hindu saviours and may no longer become party to any frantic calls”, insiders said.