New Delhi: In a desperate attempt by the Congress to gain backdoor entry into the pro-Hindu Ram Mandir narrative, so far hogged by the BJP-RSS-VHP political complex, Congress-supported Swami Swaroopanand Saraswati on Wednesday declared February 21 as the date for marching to Ayodhya and commencing the construction of the temple.

While the Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP) has decided to hold its Ram Mandir-centric Dharma Sansad on January 31 and February 1, Saraswati in his own version of a separate Dharma Sansad on Wednesday tried to get ahead of the Sangh Parivar on the temple issue.

Dwarakasharadapeeth Shankaracharya Swaroopanand Saraswati has been close to the Congress. Sources in the VHP told MyNation that this was only a way of a “desperate” Congress to stay in the 2019 game.

“They have once again politicised the matter and this will only vitiate the atmosphere in the country. Swaroopanand has time and again tried to get ahead on the temple issue, either in association with the Congress or independently, but to no avail. His efforts have bombed always,” said a senior functionary of the VHP.

Meanwhile, talking to MyNation, VHP’s international joint general secretary Surendra Jain said that the VHP’s Dharma Sansad was the “real one” and only that could decide the way forward on the issue of the Ram Mandir. 

“Swami Swaroopanand is free to do anything, but one thing is clear that the heights to which the Ram temple movement reached can only be credited to the sansad that is going to happen on January 31 and February 1,” he said.

“The Ahut Dharma Sansad that was held in 1984 was the one responsible for having catapulted this Ram Mandir movement to these heights. The decision towards which the world is looking is the one to be taken in our Dharma Sansad,” Jain added.

The first Dharma Sansad was organised in Delhi on April 7-8, 1984. It had issued a call to remove three mosques built by “Muslim invaders”—Ayodhya, Mathura and Kashi.

Exactly 10 years later, at Hardwar in 1994, the Sansad threatened to capture the disputed land and start construction of Ram Mandir from November 9 that year.