ABAP election flawed, alleges Gyandas; Claims he is the chief

Gyandas alleged the selection of Balwant Singh of the Nirmal Akhara as president of the parishad was illegal.

Updated: Nov 28, 2010, 15:16 PM IST

Ayodhya: A controversy has arisen over the
office of President of the Akhil Bharatiya Akhara Parishad
(ABAP), a party to the Ayodhya title suit case, with the main
litigant Mahant Gyandas of Hanuman Garhi maintaining that he
continues to be the chief of the apex body of Hindu seers.

"I am still the legal and actual president of the Akhil
Bharatiya Akhara Parishad and by January 30 I will prove who
is in majority and who is in minority," Gyandas told
reporters.

His statement came after a meeting of members of the
parishad was held on Friday in Allahabad in which new office
bearers were elected.

Gyandas alleged the selection of Balwant Singh of the
Nirmal Akhara as president of the parishad was illegal.

"The meeting of the Akhil Bharatiya Akhara Parishad has
unanimously elected Balwant Singh of Nirmal Akhara as its
President and Shankaranand Giri of the Anand Akhara as its
General Secretary," Parishad`s spokesman Ramanand Puri had
said.

Puri, who belongs to Niranjani Akhara and is the head
priest of Manasa Devi Temple Trust in Haridwar, said all the
13 akharas, which are part of the parishad, except the Joona
and the Avahan akharas, had taken part in the meeting.

Mahant Gyandas, however, said, "What was the urgency that
without any agenda the parishad was dissolved and new
office-bearers were elected. This exercise was done by setting
and not by meeting".

"Going against the tradition, neither I nor the secretary
of the parishad were called to attend the meeting," he said.

Gyandas alleged that this hurdle was being created by
those who were `running their shops` in the name of the Ram
temple movement and were opposed to a peaceful settlement of
the land dispute.

"Efforts for an amicable solution to the vexed issue
(land dispute) have not gone well with the political people
and such persons," he alleged.

Gyandas said that two office bearers - vice-president
Mitra Prakash Singh and treasurer Jagtar Muni, who attended
Friday`s meeting had resigned from their posts last year.

"They resigned in November last year and I have copies
of their resignation letters," he said.

The mahant said that developments in the Akhara
Parishad`s internal matters will have no effect on the ongoing
exercise to find an amicable solution to the Ram temple issue.

PTI