Those in power have forgotten Ram temple promise: Togadia to go on hunger strike

The announcement comes after Pravin Togadia’s virtual ouster from the Vishwa Hindu Parishad — he resigned after his close aide lost the VHP presidential elections.

AHMEDABAD: Accusing those in "power" of having forgotten the promise of building the Ram temple, former Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP) chief, Pravin Togadia announced an indefinite hunger strike from April 17.

"Those drunk on power have forgotten the promise of building the Ram temple. Those who want to work for Hindutva have been suppressed in the last four years," he told media in Ahmedabad, without taking any names.

The announcement came after Togadia's virtual ouster from the organisation - he resigned after his close aide lost the VHP presidential elections.

Raghava Reddy's loss to V S Kokje on Saturday is being seen as a defeat for Togadia, whose "harsh criticism" of the Narendra Modi government has seen him losing out on support from the Sangh Parivar.

Earlier this year, Togadia had accused the police of conspiring with "political masters in Delhi" to "eliminate" him in an encounter and had gone missing for more than 12 hours in Ahmedabad.

Under Modi, BJP, the political arm of the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh, has put the issue of building Ram temple at the disputed site in Ayodhya on the backburner, and has focussed on wooing people of all communities with the development promise.

After the VHP poll loss, Togadia said he was leaving the organisation.

Announcing his strike from April 17, he said, "We will try to send the message across each and every village. I am not in the VHP now, but its members and workers are very much with me. Sentiments of 100 crore (1 billion) Hindus have been hurt by false promises."

In Gujarat, many VHP office-bearers owing allegiance to Togadia have resigned in the last 24 hours. Many workers thronged the VHP office in Ahmedabad, where Togadia held a meeting on Sunday afternoon.

People close to the leader claimed he is planning to launch an outfit called Hindu First. Togadia did not say anything on floating an organisation.


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