The Vishwa Hindu Parishad has called a meeting of the Sants Uchchadhikar Samiti, an empowered group of saints involved in the Ramjanmabhoomi movement, for October 5 to decide on whether or not to go ahead with an agitation. This is despite the Supreme Court scheduling the next hearing for 29 October.
“A meeting of the Samiti has been called for October 5 in the VHP headquarters in New Delhi. We expect the 40 members…to deliberate on the future course of action,” VHP spokesperson Vinod Bansal said. Saints from across the country, including members of the Ramjanmabhoomi Nyas, will attend the meeting. The names of Nyas leader Nitya Gopal Das and Pejawar Math seer Vishweshwara Teertha are doing the rounds, though the exact number of attendees has not been disclosed.
The VHP’s letter of invitation flagged the fact that in its assessment, it is unlikely that the court would decide on the case during 2018; therefore, there was a need to decide whether or not a programme should be launched.
The VHP has gone through a churn early this year, with its long-time international president, Pravin Togadia, removed in what was considered an organisational coup. He fell foul of Prime Minister Narendra Modi and the RSS, under which the VHP operates. Hence, the meeting of the Sants Uchchadhikar Samiti under the new VHP dispensation is significant as this will not be seen as hostile to the RSS or the government.