The firebrand Hindutva leader suffered humiliation at home and elsewhere. The VHP voted Pravin Togadia out, and no MP responded to his letter seeking support to build the Ram temple in Ayodhya. As the head of a new party, he may or may not succeed in elections, but he has sacrificed his cause célèbre on the altar of politics for sure.
Pravin Togadia — the face of ultra-right, deputy of the late VHP head Ashok Singhal and part of the Ram Janmabhoomi movement — is all set to turn a neta. Hence, he may well give the ambition of building a grand Ram temple in the disputed site at Ayodhya a rest.
Togadia is all set to launch his political outfit in New Delhi's Indira Gandhi Indoor Stadium on Saturday that wants to contest from each and every parliamentary constituency of the country in the upcoming 2019 general election.
Earlier, Togadia’s letter to MPs, seeking support for a Ram temple, had received no response. In the latter half of 2018, he had announced he would write to every political party seeking 'help' for the construction of a Ram mandir, failing which he would consider floating his own political party.
"Even if the Congress comes ahead with a promise to build the Ram mandir, we will extend our support to the Congress. Whoever does that will get my support and hence my cadres," said Togadia last year.
But talking to MyNation, Pravin Togadia said, “No, we have not received any response to our emails. Hence, we have decided to float our own party."
The move puts his ambition of Ram mandir on the backburner. When MyNation reminded him of his warning of launching a nationwide movement for the temple, Togadia said, "We will fight the election and bring the law in Parliament to construct the Ram mandir.”
In other words, Togadia has aborted all his high ambitions and posturing in face of a cold shoulder from parties from across the political spectrum.
Though there is legitimate suspicion on whether Togadia has the wherewithal to create a cadre base across India in such a short time with the general election around the corner, sources say his idea is to target Uttar Pradesh and Gujarat, particularly as a spoiler by dividing the BJP-leaning Hindu vote in those states.
The choice is significant also because Uttar Pradesh has 80 seats on offer, which can determine who forms the government at the Centre. Any further destabilisation in Gujarat, the home state of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, after the BJP’s not-so-emphatic victory in the Assembly election of 2017, can be labelled as a personal loss of Modi, who ruled the state for three consecutive terms before becoming the Prime Minister in 2014.
Sources say further that to make a political point and compensate for the abandoned agitation on Ram temple before 2019 election, Togadia may contest from nowhere else but Ayodhya.
The already tense relationship between Togadia and Narendra Modi had soured further when the former, who has been the face of the Vishwa Hindu Parishad, was voted out in an election of the Hindutva organisation in Gurugram — for the first time in its history. The fire-spitting Togadia was replaced by a mild-mannered lawyer Alok Kumar as the VHP head, who is often construed as a BJP appointee.
Last Updated Feb 7, 2019, 4:03 PM IST