OTHERS

Ram temple does not depend on BJP's agenda, says VHP

CHENNAI, SEPT. 2. The VHP today made it clear that the construction of a Ram temple at Ayodhya did not depend on the national agenda of the BJP-led Government. Instead, the agenda for the building of the temple would be set by the people, the VHP's international general secretary, Mr. Pravin Togadiya, told reporters today.

Reacting to the BJP's decision to keep controversial issues in the backburner, he warned that if any party stood in the way of building the temple, it would be defeated in the elections.

Mr. Togadiya sought to make a distinction between the BJP's efforts to ``reach out'' to the minorities and the ``appeasement'' of the minorities by other political parties.

According to him, the BJP had not come down to the level of ``appeasement'' of minorities despite the new pro- Muslims line articulated by its president, Mr. Bangaru Laxman.

As a political party, it was the responsibility of the BJP to reach out to all citizens, he said. At the same time, he warned against any attempt by the BJP to ``appease'' minorities. Any appeasement would only harm the interests of the country, he said.

On September 4, the VHP would organise nation-wide protests against the killing of Sri Gurudev Shantikali Sriji Maharaj, chief priests of one of the sects practising the puja of Goddess Kali in Tripura.

``Church-backed militants had repeatedly asked him to stop Kali worship,'' the VHP leader claimed.

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