NEW DELHI: Leaders of the fanatical Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP) and Saffron-clad saints are busy campaigning for the pro-Hindu Bharatiya Janata Party in different parts of the country according to VHP sources here.

About 10 VHP leaders are contesting the general elections on BJP tickets the sources told press trust of India adding that the party had “adopted” these leaders as its candidates.

The VHP campaigners touring different parts of the country including general secretary Ashok Singhal were not campaigning on “a political platform but under VHP platform” the spokesman said.

Secretary Ashok Singhal were AOL Campaigning on “a political platform but under VHP platform” the spokesman said.

The leaders in the election fray include former U.P. police chief S C Dixit who is contesting from Varanasi the Hindu revivalist Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) leader Vinay Katiyar from Faizabad and VHP Delhi president B L Sharma from east Delhi.

The Saffron-clad candidates include Uma Bharati from Khajuraho Mahant Avaidyanath from Gorakhpur Swami Chinmayananda from Badaun and Sachidanand Hari Sakshi from Mathura the spokesman said.

While all these candidates are from Uttar Pradesh barring Uma Bharati from Khajuraho (Madhya Pradesh) the VHP has put up Kameshwar Chaupal a tribal from Rasra in Samastipur district of Bihar Mahant Ramprakash Dass from Gurdaspur in Punjab and Pulla Reddy from Andhra Pradesh.

Chaupal was the first person to lay the foundation stone for the proposed Ram Temple near the disputed site in Ayodhya during the November 1989 “Shilanyas” program.

Article extracted from this publication >> May 10, 1991