Lucknow: Former VHP international president Pravin Togadia has hinted at contesting Lok Sabha elections against Prime Minister Narendra Modi in Varanasi. (Also read: BJP Leader Targets Priyanka Gandhi Vadra, Says ‘Having Nose Like Grandmother Doesn’t Ensure You Will Get Power’)Also Read - 83-Year-Old Seer Who Lives in a Rishikesh Cave Donates Rs 1 Crore For Ram Temple Construction
Togadia had recently floated a new political outfit called Hindustan Nirman Dal (HND). Also Read - Ayodhya Ram Mandir: VHP To Start Construction Fund Collection Drive From January 15
He was speaking to reporters here on Tuesday after announcing names of 48 candidates of his party for Lok Sabha polls. These 48 include 26 candidates from UP. Also Read - Babri Masjid Demolition Verdict: VHP Says ‘Victory of Truth’, Muslim Body to Challenge it in High Court | Key Points
Togadia added that his supporters wanted him to contest from Varanasi. “We will take a final decision after consultation with party workers,” he added.
From Ayodhya, HND is fielding Manishankar Maurya while Ambrishbhai Patel will fight against BJP chief Amit Shah in Gandhinagar in Gujarat.
The party would be contesting on more than 100 seats in 12 states.
Togadia criticised PM Modi and said, “He did not visit Ayodhya during his tenure…..it seems he is afraid of Lord Rama…BJP remembers Rama only during the polls.”
“Wo unke ‘chunavi Ram’ hain (Ram temple is merely an election plank for BJP),” he said.
Stating that BJP had become like Congress, Togadia rued the treatment being meted out to senior leaders like L K Advani and others.
A leading daily quoted the leader as attacking the BJP for failing to keep its promises. The former VHP leader also accused the BJP of bringing up ‘nationalism’ only for electoral gains.
Togadia, who had been in Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP) for over three decades, only last year announced he was quitting the organisation after his aide Raghav Reddy was defeated by retired justice and former Himachal Pradesh governor V S Kokje in polling for the post of international president of the outfit.
Announcing his decision, Togadia had said, “I am not in the VHP anymore. I was in it for 32 years. For the welfare of Hindus, I left my home and my lucrative medical practice. I will continue to work for the welfare of Hindus.”