New Delhi: Defending the Uttar Pradesh Government`s move to contain a potentially volatile situation in Ayodhya with massive security deployment to prevent the Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP) from launching a controversial yatra, Samajwadi Party (SP) leader Naresh Agarwal on Sunday launched a scathing attack on the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), and alleged that it is desperate to come to power.
"Our suspicion was very correct. Had we not stooped the Chaurasi Kosi Parikrama Yatra....they could have done anything. The BJP doesn`t love nation, courts or the constitution. It just craves for power," he said, while justifying the Samajwadi Party`s stand.
With the VHP activists adamant to complete the Yatra, the Uttar Pradesh administration today said security arrangements would continue to check those trying to attend the banned yatra.
RK Vishwakarma, Inspector General, Law and Order, today informed that1,696 persons, including VHP President Ashok Singhal and Praveen Togadia, were arrested in a crackdown.
"The tight security arrangements will continue in the state to prevent those trying to attend VHP`s yatra, which has not been recalled by it. In the state, 1,696 persons including Ashok Singhal and Praveen Togadia, have been arrested in the crackdown," said Vishwakarma.
Prominent among those arrested by the state police include Savitri Bai Phule, VHP`s provincial coordinator Acharya Kushmuni and Mahant Santosh Das alias Sathu Baba, a VHP office bearer in Varanasi while prominent VHP leader Mahant Ram Saran Das was held at Ram Sanehi Ghat in Ayodhya.
The Lucknow bench of the Allahabad High Court had earlier on Saturday dismissed a plea for allowing the ` Chaurasi Kosi Parikrama Yatra`, stating that there is a possibility of tension, and added that the restriction will be maintained.
The Vishwa Hindu Parishad has vowed to kick off its `Chaurasi Kosi Parikrama` around Ayodhya to revive its demand for a Ram temple.
The Samajwadi Party Government has banned the proposed Yatra, as a preemptive measure against communal flare-up, and put in place elaborate security arrangements by rushing in 10 companies of the Rapid Action Force and 12 companies of the Provincial Armed Constabulary (PAC).