“By branding Hindu groups saffron terrorists”

The Vishwa Hindu Parishad on Friday accused Congress president Sonia Gandhi and the Centre of trying to woo Muslim voters by branding Hindu saints and groups “saffron terrorists.”

“Sonia Gandhi's policy is to appease and woo Muslim voters and push the Hindus to the corner,” VHP international president Ashok Singhal said inaugurating a three-day convention of the Parishad at Ramnathi in Central Goa.

On the Kashmir issue, Mr. Singhal said what started as a stone throwing incident was a conspiracy to demand the secession of Kashmir in the garb of an autonomy demand. The spate of scams turned out to be a blessing in disguise as the issue was put on the back burner.

Apart from mobilising Hindus for a show of strength on the Ayodhya issue, Mr. Singhal said, the VHP should work out a strategy to deal with the growing influence of the media.

“The electronic media including the Internet are influencing people in a big way. Added to that is the influence and impact of the Internet on the print media. The electronic media making strides in vernacular languages is more influential,” he said.

These developments should be understood in the context of the VHP's upcoming plans to mobilise Hindus on the Ayodhya issue. Mr. Singhal said the VHP had contacted around 340 MPs on the issue and received a positive response. He hoped they would respond positively if the issue of Ram Mandir came up in Parliament.

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