New Delhi: Congress leader Satyavrat Chaturvedi on Saturday said proposed yatra of the Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP) to Ayodhya is nothing but an election `gimmick` and also described it as a conspiracy by the VHP to create communal tension in the country.
"For five years, BJP-VHP did not remember Lord Ram or the temple, but now when elections are near they suddenly remember him. The UP government has taken up the right decision to restrict it. It a conspiracy by the VHP to create communal tensions," he said.
Meanwhile, Samajwadi Party (SP) leader Naresh Agarwal termed the yatra as `pure politics` and added that it is not a religious yatra.
"VHP`s yatra is pure politics and it`s not at all a religious yatra. Hindus know these tactics. The VHP is doing it because elections are near, and they have made it very clear that it is a political practice. People know very well what all they can do in the name of the religion," he said.
Earlier, VHP president Ashok Singhal on August 22 had said that the yatra was religious and not a political one.
"Those parties which do not want the creation of the Ram Temple here, are trying to benefit in the forthcoming elections. These are the people who are playing a political game in the name of the birthplace of Ram. And, these are the people who call this procession political, saints are not politically inclined," he said.
A delegation of Hindu saints led by Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP) international president Ashok Singhal had met Mulayam Singh Yadav on August17, and asked him to convince Muslim leaders, clerics and ulemas to pave way for the construction of the Ram Temple at the disputed site in Ayodhya.
The saints had after the meeting which was also attended by Akhilesh Yadav claimed that the Samajwadi Party chief had accepted their request. They also said that they had asked Akhilesh Yadav to provide adequate support and security for the "Chaurasi Kosi Parikrama" (a religious march) in Ayodhya and adjoining districts beginning on August 25.
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 pre-emptive measure against communal flare-up, and put in place elaborate security arrangements by rushing in 10 companies of the Rapid Action Force (RSF) and 12 companies of the Provincial Armed Constabulary (PAC).