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Akhara Parishad do not see eye-to-eye with VHP

Sants' body nothing objectionable in Advani's remarks on Jinnah

HARDWAR: Ahead of the crucial meeting of the VHP's `Marg Darshak Mandal', sharp differences today cropped up between the Vishwa Hindu Parishad and the Akhil Bharatiya Akhara Parishad, the apex body of all the sants in the country.

The differences erupted just before a two-day crucial meeting of the VHP's `Marg Darshak Mandal,' its apex body, which begins tomorrow at Nishkam Trust at Hardwar.

After a special meeting of the Akhara Parishad late last evening Swami Parmanand Saraswati, the general secretary of the Parishad, told reporters that the sants would participate in the deliberations of VHP's `Marg Darshak Mandal'.

However, he said the VHP was an opportunistic outfit which used the sants to serve their political ends.

"We shall no longer follow the agenda of the VHP. Now we shall set the agenda and the VHP should follow it," he added.

Bharatiya Janata Party president L.K. Advani, who has recently been the target of VHP's ire, found support from the All India Akhara Parishad.

Swami Parmanand Saraswati said that there was nothing objectionable in Mr Advani's statements in Pakistan on Jinnah and Ayodhya.

Without naming the VHP, he said that some people were raising unnecessary controversies over what Mr Advani had said.

The stand of the sant community is likely to prove a major obstacle in VHP's plans to corner Mr Advani in the `Marg Darshak Mandal' meeting.

Meanwhile, the high power committee on Ram Janambhoomi met today to prepare the agenda for the meeting of the VHP's Marg Darshak Mandal.

The meeting was chaired by Tulsi Peethadheeshwar Ram Bhadracharya and was attended, among others, by VHP's top brass including Ashok Singhal, Acharya Giriraj Kishore, Praveen Togadia, Omkar Bhave, Sadanand Kakde and Swami Avadheshanand Giriji Maharaj.

The national organizing secretary of the VHP, Rajendra Singh Pankaj said this afternoon that the two-day meet of the `Marg Darshak Mandal' would discuss the "ways and means to face the onslaughts on Hindu religion, Hindu temples, removing of hurdles coming in the way of constructing Ram Temple at Ayodhya and the strategy to create proper atmosphere in the country for the construction of the Temple."

He expressed the hope that the differences, if any, with the Akhil Bhartiya Akhara Parishad would be resolved.

Sources said Advani's statements about "Jinnah and the Babri mosque would also come up for discussion" in the meeting of the `Marg Darshak Mandal' and VHP's relationship with the BJP would "also be reviewed".

UNI

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