Sonia, Rajnath also on Kumbh guest list

The Hindutva brigade is likely to up its ante at Kumbh-2013, with the Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP) and the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) scheduled to participate in a Sant Sammelan and Dharma Sansad to be held on February 7. Senior BJP leaders may also attend the sammelan.

On the other hand, Congress president Sonia Gandhi and vice-president Rahul Gandhi are also likely to arrive at Kumbh, although the programme has not been finalised yet.

BJP spokesperson Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi, who visited the camp of Juna akhara to seek blessings of the seers, said that the country was looking for a political alternative and many things would come out of Kumbh. "A strong message would go out to the people sent from Kumbh Mela in this regard," he said. Naqvi said that Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi had a nation-wide appeal but there were many capable leaders in the BJP.

The newly appointed BJP national president Rajnath Singh would be reaching Kumbh on February 6. "He would stay at the VHP's camp and hold a meeting with them," said district BJP coordinator Ram Raksha Dwivedi.

VHP sources claimed that apart from Singh, senior BJP leader Sushma Swaraj and Modi too would be attending the sammelan on February 7. However, there was no confirmation of the same from the BJP. Talking to reporters, VHP's advisor Ashok Singhal said, "The time is ripe for the BJP, the saints and the Sangh Parivar to come together." Issues like construction of temple at Ram Janmabhoomi, the reducing population of Hindus and cow slaughter would be discussed, besides abatement of pollution in river Ganga, will be discussed at the sammelan, which is being organised by the VHP. "The saints are likely to announce a major initiative on these issues," said Singhal.

Singhal also said that there was no confusion about the BJP's stand on the issue of Ram Janmabhoomi. "They have already mentioned that it is very much on their agenda. As far as political will is concerned, the saints will launch a massive agitation forcing the government to get the construction of Ram temple cleared from Parliament. The court has already given its verdict that there was no mosque at the place," he said.

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