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Ayodhya march echoes in parliament, court orders VHP leaders' release
Monday August 26, 2013 8:52 PM, IANS

The VHP's foiled Ayodhya march had its reverberations in parliament Monday with the BJP and Uttar Pradesh's ruling Samajwadi Party locking horns on the issue and the BSP accusing the two of trying to polarise voters ahead of the Lok Sabha polls.

Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP) activists protested in the national capital over ban on the "84 kosi parikrama yatra" and arrest of its leaders in Uttar Pradesh. But in relief to VHP, the state high court ordered release of its three senior leaders, including Ashok Singhal and Pravin Togadia.

Both the Rajya Sabha and Lok Sabha saw repeated adjournments on the issue. The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and the Bahujqan Samaj Party (BSP) demanded dismissal of the Akhilesh Yadav government and imposition of president's rule in Uttar Pradesh.

The Rajya Sabha saw two adjournments during the question hour before being adjourned till 2 p.m.

Speaking in the house when it reassembled, BJP's Vinay Katiyar accused the Samajwadi Party government of conspiracy in banning the march.

He said the march "belonged neither to BJP or to VHP but to the saints".

He alleged that police "had manhandled saints" and entered temple compounds with shoes.

"There have been 20 riots in UP under the present government. No one is safe. I demand that the state government should be dismissed and president's rule imposed," he said.

SP member Naresh Agrawal hit back at the BJP, saying it was not guided "by love for the nation, but love for power".

Agrawal sought to link the march with BJP campaign committee chief Narendra Modi and said VHP activists had been mobilized for the march with a political objective.

He accused the BJP of attacking its party office in the capital and claimed Delhi Police, which was under the Congress-led government, had not registered a case.

BSP supremo Mayawati accused SP leader Mulayam Singh Yadav of agreeing to meet VHP leaders and giving them an impression that they can go ahead with the march.

"The BJP and SP are trying together to spoil the communal atmosphere in the garb of march President's rule should be immediately imposed in the state," she said.

Congress leader Satyavrat Chaturvedi said the VHP did not remember the march for the past four-and-half years.

Both Chaturvedi and Agrawal said there was no tradition in Hindu religion of carrying "kosi parikrama yatra" during monsoon.

Members of Communist Party of India-Marxist and Janata Dal-United also expressed concern over the march.

The Lok Sabha saw an adjournment on the VHP's march during question hour.

When the house met at noon, Mulayam Singh Yadav and BJP's Yogi Adityanath, respectively, spoke on the VHP march and the attack on the SP office but Janata Dal-United leader Sharad Yadav's reference to VHP led to a din and its adjournment till 2 p.m.

In Lucknow, the Allahabad High Court's bench Monday ordered the release of Singhal, Togadia and Swami Ram Bhadracharya who were arrested ahead of their Ayodhya march.

The VHP's "84 kosi parikrama yatra", was banned by the Uttar Pradesh government. The march, proposed Aug 28, 29 and 30, was aimed to press for the construction of a Ram temple in Ayodhya.

Hundreds of VHP activists Monday held a protest at Jantar Mantar and pelted stones on police in Delhi against the arrest of their leaders.

They dispersed after police used water cannons.

The Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) condemned the "communal polarization" around the Ayodhya dispute and urged the people to reject attempts to mix religion with politics.

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