The Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP) is all set to hold several rallies across the country beginning from November 25 in Ayodhya, a move seen by many as an effort to mount pressure on the government for bringing a law to construct a grand Ram Temple. Addressing the media on Friday, the VHP said that the scheduled 'Dharam Sabha' in Ayodhya' is its 'last effort' to clear hurdles for the construction of Ram Temple in Ayodhya.
Hundreds and thousands of VHP supporters are likely to attend the 'Dharam Sabha' on Sunday. Meanwhile, Shiv Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray will visit the holy city a day before the VHP event to pay obeisance to Ram Lalla.
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The VHP has planned to organise three rallies in Ayodhya, Nagpur nad Bengaluru on November 25 followed by a grand rally in Delhi on December 9.
After the December 9 mega rally, the VHP has also planned to start a nation-wide movement from December 18.
ALSO READ | Dharam Sabha on Nov 25 in Ayodhya to Grand Rally on Dec 9 in Delhi: VHP's 'last effort to clear hurdles' for construction of Ram Temple
Ahead of his scheduled visit to the holy city, Shiv Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray said that the Ram Temple issue is raked up before every election and wondered for how long will people be ‘fooled’ with the ‘mandir wahi banayenge’ slogan.
He added that he would seek 'an answer' during his visit to Ayodhya on November 25 as to how many many more elections will the people will be fooled with the slogan.
In a bid to intensify his party’s campaign for the Ram temple in Ayodhya, Thackeray has given a new slogan– ‘Pehle mandir, fir sarkaar’ (first the temple, then the government).
ALSO READ | How long will people be fooled with 'mandir wahi banayenge' slogan: Uddhav Thackeray lashes out at govt on Ram Temple row
MASSIVE SECURITY DEPLOYMENT AHEAD OF RSS, VHP AYODHYA EVENT
The Uttar Pradesh Police has deployed a legion of officers to preserve the law and order situation in Ayodhya ahead of the 'Dharam Sabha' event on Sunday. The force includes one ADGP, one DIG, three SSP, ten ASsPs, 21 DSsPs, 160 Inspectors, 700 Constables, 42 Companies of PAC, ATS Commandos and drone cameras.
SC SHOULD SEND ARMY TO AYODHYA IF NECESSARY: AKHILESH YADAV
Former Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister and Samajwadi Party President Akhilesh Yadav on Friday urged Supreme Court to take note of the situation in Ayodhya and call the Army, if needed to keep situation under control.
"The BJP doesn't believe in either the Supreme Court or the constitution. The party can go to any extent. The kind of environment there is in UP, especially in Ayodhya, the Supreme Court should take notice of it and send the Army if necessary," he said.
'VHP's AYODHYA EVENT BEING HELD WITH ELECTIONS IN MIND'
As activists gather in Ayodhya, some Muslim leaders have also expressed fears over the safety of their community in Ayodhya during the Vishwa Hindu Parishad 'Dharma Sabha'.
However, few Muslim leaders see the 'Dharam Sabha' in Ayodhya a design to woo voters.
"The motive is political and there is no doubt about it. The ground is being prepared for the 2019 Lok Sabha polls," All India Muslim Personal Law Board (AIMPLB) member Zafaryab Jilani told PTI.
Shiv Sena workers too are expected in Ayodhya around this time.
Another AIMPLB member Khalid Rashid Farangimahli also linked the VHP event to elections.
"Even a small child knows that there is an attempt to spoil the atmosphere in the country to reap benefits at the time when assembly elections are being held in some states, and the Lok Sabha elections are due early next year," he said.
Zafaryab Jilani said as it becomes certain that the Ayodhya verdict will not be delivered before the Lok Sabha polls, there is an attempt to keep intact the vote of the people who participated in the last elections hoping for a Ram temple.
"People were getting disenchanted with those who had promised a temple in Ayodhya, and this is yet another attempt to keep their hopes in such forces alive and befool them for some more time," Jilani said.
Both leaders said the government should ensure the security of Muslims and Hindus living in Ayodhya when the VHP event takes place, keeping in mind the `kar seva' in 1992 which ended with the demolition of the Babri mosque on the disputed site.
"It is the responsibility of the government and the administration to make foolproof arrangements for the security of the common people in Ayodhya to ensure that no untoward incident like that in 1992 takes place again," Farangimahli said.
He said some statements ahead of the Dharma Sabha had created apprehension among the Muslims in Ayodhya, but did not elaborate.
Three Muslim plaintiffs in the Ram Janmabhoomi-Babri Masjid title suit -- Iqbal Ansari, Haji Mahboob and Mohammad Umar -- recently claimed that the community felt insecure in Ayodhya.
"As the VHP and Shiv Sena gather their activists in large numbers in Ayodhya, the Muslim community here is feeling very insecure. We might leave Ayodhya," Ansari had said.
Another plaintiff, Mohammad Umar, agreed.
"We do not want any disturbance here as we want to live in peace," he said.
"Ayodhya is our birthplace, we are here since generations. But we still remember how the VHP and Shiv Sena activists attacked Muslims after the demolition of Babri Masjid here on December 6, 1992," he added.
The RSS, Vishwa Hindu Parishad and BJP have been running a campaign for the construction of a Ram temple in Ayodhya. On December 6, 1992, kar sevaks of right-wing Hindu organisations demolished the disputed structure. Many BJP leaders, including LK Advani and Murali Manohar Joshi, are facing a criminal case in connection with the demolition.