New Delhi/ Lucknow: The Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) on Sunday criticized the Akhilesh Yadav-led Uttar Pradesh Government’s decision to oppose the Vishwa Hindu Parishad’s ‘Chaurasi Kosi Parikrama Yatra’ around Ayodhya, and said that the ruling Samajwadi Party (SP) is trying to create an atmosphere to divide the society on religious lines.
BSP leader Sudhindra Bhadoria said that the proposed yatra was a strategy of the ruling Uttar Pradesh Government to disrupt peace in the society.
“An atmosphere to divide the society on religious lines is being created in Uttar Pradesh. But the people of Uttar Pradesh and the rest of the country are alert and they know all about the drama,” Bhadoria told media in New Delhi.
“The government is trying to fool the people, as one party is adamant on taking out the rally while the other is bent on thwarting it. It seems a joint conspiracy of the two,” Bhandoria added.
Meanwhile, Samajwadi Party leader Rajendra Chaudhary defended the state government’s stand to oppose the yatra, and said that his party would not let Uttar Pradesh witness the communal riots, which took place in Gujarat in 2002.
"We will not let Uttar Pradesh become Gujarat. There is no place for communalism in our state. It is a decent state and we will never let communalism to play its game here. Mulayam Singh will never let the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) succeed in its designs,” Chaudhary said in Lucknow.
Earlier in the day, VHP President Ashok Singhal and senior leader Praveen Togadia were detained by the police, along with 500 activists across Uttar Pradesh.
Togadia was arrested when he defied prohibitory orders in Ayodhya and attempted to conduct prayers on the banks of the Saryu river, after the Uttar Pradesh government had banned the yatra, while Singhal was detained at the Lucknow airport.
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 on Saturday dismissed a plea for allowing 84-Kosi parikrama yatra, stating that there is a possibility of tension, and added that the restriction will be maintained.
The Vishwa Hindu Parishad had 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.