Ram mandir issue: Togadia denounces Modi, Bhagwat; leans on Uddhav Thackeray

Mumbai: Welcoming the decision of Shiv Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray to visit Ayodhya to begin construction of Ram mandir, Pravin Togadia, president of Antarrashtriya Hindu Parishad (AHP), has demanded the Modi government should pass the bill to construct the mandir at Ayodhya. Denouncing Modi and Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) chief Mohan Bhagwat, Togadia said he shall support Thackeray over mandir issue.

Thackeray has announced to visit Ayodhya and Varanasi after Shiv Sena’s Dussehra rally on October 19. He is expected to begin the construction work of Ram mandir by performing karseva. Uddhav would be the first leader of the Thackeray family who will visit Ayodhya and perform karseva.

Addressing the press conference in Nagpur on Sunday, Togadia welcomed the ecision of Thackeray. The former Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP) leader alleged that the RSS was not interested in pursuing the cause of building Ram temple in Ayodhya. Togadia said, “Instead of demanding a temple be constructed, the RSS chief should ‘order’ Prime Minister Narendra Modi to get the government to enact a law in Parliament to pave the way for Ram temple.

He also accused PM Modi of ‘appeasing’ Muslim community and going back on the promise to build Ram temple in Ayodhya. “When it comes to the Scheduled Caste (SC), Scheduled Tribes (ST) Act, Modi says Parliament will decide on the matter and not the courts. But when it comes to building the Ram temple, Modi backtracks and says the courts will decide on the issue and not Parliament,” Togadia said. He has threatened to enter Ayodhya on October 21.

Speaking about the AHP, an outfit he formed after quitting the VHP in April this year, Togadia said the organisation would pursue ‘Hindu politics’. When asked whether AHP will support the Shiv Sena in the elections, Togadia said, “If (Sena chief) Uddhav Thackeray pursues the saffron flag (Hindutva politics), we will support him.”

Togadia also slammed Bhagwat for stating that “Hindu Rashtra does not mean there is no place for Muslims”. Bhagwat had made the statement at the RSS’ three-day lecture series in September this year. “Hindu Rashtra does not mean there is no place for Muslims. The day it is said so, it won’t be Hindutva any more. Hindutva talks about Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam,” Bhagwat had said. “We had joined the RSS 52 years ago considering it to be a Hindu organisation. But now we feel it is only concerned with the interests of the Muslim community,” Togadia added.

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