Lucknow, Nov 29 (PTI) Keen to maintain the momentum built during the recent Dharam Sabha in Ayodhya, the Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP) now plans to hold programmes across the country during which people would take oath to build a grand Ram Temple in Ayodhya. Also Read - 15 BJP Workers Admitted to Hospital After Being Attacked by TMC Leaders in East Midnapur | Updates

The week-long programme is likely to begin on Gita Jayanti on December 18 and will continue for a week. Also Read - "It’s BJP’s Vaccine, Can’t Trust…Won’t Take The Shot," Says SP Chief Akhilesh Yadav

In days to come, the Vishwa Hindu Parishad would be holding pledge- taking programmes at various places in the country. The pledge will be taken for construction of a grand Ram Temple in Ayodhya. This will begin on Gita Jayanti and will continue for almost a week. Apart from this we are holding Dharam Sabhas on a smaller scale in various parts of the country, Secretary (organization) of VHP’s Awadh praant (region) Bholendra told PTI Thursday. Also Read - Ayodhya Ram Mandir: VHP To Start Construction Fund Collection Drive From January 15

He said till December 18, smaller-scale Dharam Sabhas will be held at the district level.

VHP spokesperson in Ayodhya, Sharad Sharma, said, A similar programme is scheduled to be held in Delhi on December 9 in which over 5 lakh persons are likely to turn up. Then on January 31 and February 1, we are going to organize a Dharam Sansad in Prayagraj in which more than 5,000 seers from across the country are likely to participate. Seers from southern states and north-eastern states have been specifically invited. The Dharam Sansad will deliberate on various issues including on Ram Temple, cow and River Ganga.

Social harmony will be another issue on which detailed discussions will be held, Sharma said.

Through the Dharam Sabha, we were able to send a message that the Hindu society wants a grand Ram Temple in Ayodhya, Sharma said, and added that road map for the next course of action will be finalised during 2019 Kumbh in Prayagraj.

However, the ‘Dharam Sabha’ – the biggest congregation of Ram bhakts in this holy town – is being seen by the opposition as an effort by the saffron brigade to test waters ahead of the Lok Sabha polls.

Despite the matter being sub-judice, there is an extraordinary hurry on the part of the VHP, BJP and their associates to give another push to the issue which was dormant for the last four years. The BJP is losing its ground in and around Ayodhya, and the Dharam Sabha was a desperate act to revitalise its cadre. However, this has met with very little success, former MLA from Ayodhya Tej Narayan Pandey alias Pawan Pandey (SP) told PTI.

Terming the Dharam Sabha as a political stunt , he also alleged that the VHP, BJP and their associates have been engaged in political drama for the last 30 years.

Asked how the Samajwadi Party would be countering the saffron agenda, Pandey said, We are in touch with the people of Ayodhya, and they have rejected the agenda of the BJP and company. People have told me that events like these disturb the normal life of the city in a significant manner. Former Lok Sabha MP from Faizabad Nirmal Khatri, when contacted said, There is no need to counter such programmes and the agenda unleashed by the saffron brigade, as in the eyes of the public, the grand drama staged on Sunday has turned out to be flop show. Khatri said, “Once an event is exposed in front of the public, there is hardly any need to put any extra efforts in the sensitive issue. However, as far as the booth-level management strategy of the party is concerned, we are adding people to our party, and telling them that how the BJP stands exposed on a number of issues.

This is published unedited from the PTI feed.