Gujarat Chief minister Narendra Modi, projected in the media as the front runner for the post of the Prime Minister since his third consecutive victory in state assembly elections in December, has not been invited by the Vishwa Hindu Parishad for its two day meeting of the ` Kendriya Marg Darshak Mandal’ (Central Steering committee) at Allahabad where the Purn Kumbh mela is underway.
Gathering of the top leadership of the Sangh Parivaar at the Kumbh mela in the wake of positive statements for Narendra Modi from the VHP and BJP have led to intense speculation that the two day meet of the `marg Darshak mandal’ of the VHP is likely to endorse the candidature of the Gujarat chief minister for the office of Prime Minister. Last week, VHP leader Ashok Singhal, had met the top RSS and BJP leaders in Delhi and later issued a statement saying that the time has come for the BJP to formally announce Narendra Modi as the Prime Ministerial candidate for the 2014 parliament elections. The BJP president Rajnath Singh has already endorsed Narendra Modi, as the most popular leader of the BJP.
The RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat, VHP chief Ashok Singhal and the former international general secretary of the VHP Praveen Togadia, bête noire of Narendra Modi in Gujarat politics, will attend the two day meeting of the VHP. The BJP president Rajnath Singh who is arriving here on Tuesday will attend the VHP meet at Allahabad on February 6.
“The VHP has not invited Narendra Modi for the two day meet at Kumbh mela at Prayag. We have no idea whether he will visit the Kumbh mela or not. He may be coming to Kumbh mela like many other VIPs. Congress president Sonia Gandhi , Rahul Gandhi and other top political leaders are also expected to visit the Kumbh mela on February 10th , said Purushottam Naryan, all India secretary of the VHP, adding “ even if Modi comes to the Kumbh mela on February 6 and 7, he won’t find a place on the dais as the VHP has never shared its dais with leaders of any political party’’.
“The office of the prime minister is not in our agenda for the two day meet at Prayag. We have our agenda for the two day meeting of the mandal and there will be no resolution in support of any politician for the office of the prime minister for the 2014 parliament elections. The Sants participating in the two day meet are free to air their views on the political situation and the future prime minister of India and there is no restriction on that’’, said the VHP leader.
Mahavir, regional organizing secretary of the VHP said the two day meeting of the Marg Darshak mandal will concentrate on the issues of the Hindu Samaj , rather than the political issues. “ We have definite information that the UPA government to placate the Muslims ahead of the 2014 parliament elections is all set to give a plot of land at the Ram janma bhomi site for the construction of a mosque or an Islamic center at Ayodhya. The Sant Samaj will never allow this to happen’’, said Mahavir. The other issues likely to come up for discussion are the conversion of Hindus by the Christian missionaries, infiltration from Bangladesh in north eastern states and West Bengal , terrorism from across the border and cultural nationalism, said the VHP leader.
He said in the first day meeting around 300 top Hindu religious leaders will attend the meeting and on the second day 10-12,000 Sants and Sadhus are expected to participate.
VHP, a member of the Sangh parivaar, had spearheaded the violent agitation for the construction of the Ram temple at the disputed site at Ayodhya, after the unlocking of the gates of the Babri mosque on February 1, 1986, on the orders of the district and sessions judge of Faizabad district court. The VHP had organized `Kar Sewa (voluntary service) near the disputed site in October 1990, leading to police firing on the kar sewaks twice on October 30 and November 1.
The agitation led to intense communal polarization in the UP politics and catapulted the BJP to power on its own in UP in the June 1991 assembly elections. The Babri mosque was demolished on December 6, 1992, during the call for the token `Kar sewa’ given by the VHP. Following the demolition of the mosque, the then BJP government headed by Kalyan Singh was dismissed on the same day and Presidents rule was imposed. The investigation into the demolition was handed over to the CBI and the investigation agency has charge sheeted all the top leaders of the VHP and BJP including Ashok Singhal, LK Advani, Murli Manohar Joshi, Uma Bharti and two dozen others. The criminal trial in the case is under way in special CBI court at Raibareilly.