JD(U) on Wednesday termed as “absurd” VHP President Ashok Singhal’s threat to the Uttar Pradesh government that it will face “adverse consequences” if force was used to enforce a ban on its proposed yatra.
“Who is he (Singhal)? Is he a thekedaar of Hindus? I am also a Hindu. Will he decide for me? What is this VHP? Is it some United Nations Organisation? Who accepts the VHP as the leader of Hindus? Who is he to issue threats?” party President Sharad Yadav asked.
He dismissed suggestions that the Yatra, which is an attempt to garner support for the Ram Temple issue, could lead to polarisation of votes in favour of the BJP saying, “kaath ki hanndi baar baar nahin chadhati (you cannot encash an issue again and again)“.
He said the BJP could polarise some votes in the past on Ayodhya issue due the caste controversy over Mandal Commission reservation for OBCs.
Mr. Yadav also rejected the majority minority polarisation talk, saying “who is majority and who is minority in this country. There are lakhs and lakhs of castes in all communities.”
Accusing Samajwadi Party supremo Mulayam Singh Yadav of buckling under pressure of his party colleague Azam Khan in banning its proposed yatra, the VHP had on Tuesday said that it will go ahead with its plan.
Mr. Singhal also warned UP government of “adverse consequences” if it used force to enforce the ban.
Mr. Singhal said Mr. Yadav was receptive to them when he met him on August 17 to seek his party’s support for the 20-day yatra.
“We were shocked when we came to know of the government’s decision. The leader representing Muslims in his party had showed his displeasure over the meeting and Mr. Yadav apparently succumbed under pressure,” Mr. Singhal said in an apparent reference to Khan, who is a minister in UP government.
Mr. Khan had expressed disapproval over the meeting and said it would send wrong signals to the Muslim community.
The UP government had banned the ‘chaurasi kosi padyatra’ citing security reasons.