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Cong. criticises Govt. for its `support' to VHP

By Our Special Correspondent

NEW DELHI OCT. 15. The Congress today criticised the Government for its ``open support'' to the Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP) cadres, maintaining that it emboldened the Sangh Parivar to carry forth its agenda. Demanding that the Government act decisively to maintain law and order, the Congress warned that the ruling dispensation's attitude towards the VHP could lead to a ``serious law and order situation''.

The issue was raised by the Congress today at its routine briefing with the spokesman, Abhishek Singhvi, stating that the ``average citizen of India wants to get on with his life and not be drawn into a communal cauldron''. Describing the VHP office leader, Praveen Togadia's ``declaration and invitation to communal riots'' and the RSS spokesperson, Ram Madhav's reference to violence as ``reprehensible'', he said both statements were a clear violation of the Indian Penal Code.

To a question on whether the Congress would demand the arrest of Mr. Togadia and Mr. Madhav, Mr. Singhvi said: ``Given the serious nature of their statements, a fair application of the law would lead to their arrest.'' As for the stance taken by the Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister, Mulayam Singh Yadav, on the VHP's proposed programme, he said: ``till now, we have found nothing wanting in the State Government's approach''.

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