Former International Working President of the Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP) Pravin Togadia began his indefinite fast on Tuesday to demand speedy construction of the Ram Temple at Ayodhya and other ‘Hindutva’ issues.
Togadia, who resigned from his post last week owing to the defeat of his nominee Raghav Reddy in a crucial poll of the VHP, castigated Prime Minister Narendra Modi for his failures on several fronts, including construction of the Ram Temple.
The rabble-rousing Hindutva leader falling from grace and his subsequent fast indicate a growing friction between the Sangh Parivar’s political wing BJP and the religious wing VHP, first manifested in Togadia going missing for few hours in January following which he claimed that there is a plan to get him killed in an encounter.
Togadia began his fast outside the local VHP office on Tuesday morning as the city police denied him permission for the protest at the Collector’s Office or at the GMDC ground where then Chief Minister Narendra Modi had sat on a week-long “Sadbhavna” mission fast in September 2011.
“We demand that a law be passed by the Parliament facilitating building of the Ram Temple, total ban on cow slaughter and Uniform Civil Code,” Togadia said outside the VHP office here.
Claiming that he was offered the chief ministership in Gujarat in the past, Togadia said PM Modi has failed in his economic policies and governance.
“You took U-turn on MNREGA, on Aadhaar, on GST. By bringing demonetisation and GST, you have killed the business of businessmen,” the VHP leader said in his address while beginning his fast.
Local RSS leaders had reportedly made futile attempts to dissuade Togadia from launching his diatribe against Modi but he did not budge from his stand.