VHP refutes media report on Modi’s Ayodhya visit

Lucknow, June 18 (IANS) The Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP) Tuesday refuted a media report that Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi is scheduled to visit the disputed Ram Janma Bhoomi site in Uttar Pradesh’s Ayodhya town later this month.

“I have been quoted as commenting on the visit of Narendra Modi. But I am hereby officially refuting any such comment being attributed to me,” Sharad Sharma, regional media in-charge of the VHP in Ayodhya, said in a statement.

Saying that a news agency quoted him out of context regarding the Ayodhya visit of Modi, Sharma added that he did not receive such intimation from the head of Bharatiya Janata Party’s poll campaign panel for the 2014 general elections.

The 75th birthday of Mahant Nritya Gopal Das, seer and chairman of the Shri Ram Janmabhoomi Nyas, is being celebrated in the temple town from June 19 to 22. VHP sources said that invites have been sent to many politicians and VIPs across the country.

The invitees include the Gujarat chief minister, Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chauhan and several central leaders of the BJP.

A close aide of Nritya Gopal Das, however, told IANS that Modi has already apologised to the seer for not being able to make it on June 19 for the celebrations.

“Modi ji called up Mahant ji two days back and expressed his inability to come to Ayodhya citing preoccupations,” the aide said.

Earlier, the news of Modi’s Ayodhya visit sent the media and political establishment in a tizzy with many pointing out that the Janata Dal-United was correct in parting ways with the BJP, as the saffron outfit was trying to reignite the Ayodhya brand of politics.

Although officially remaining silent on the issue, the state BJP leaders termed as contradictory the media report quoting Sharma and other people on Modi’s Ayodhya visit.

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