Union Minister Salman Khurshid today said that the decision to ban VHP's 84 Kosi yatra has been taken by the Samajwadi Party government of Uttar Pradesh and Congress had nothing to do with it.
"Congress has no hand in putting brakes on VHP's parikrama programme and the Samajwadi Party government has imposed a ban on it", Khurshid said here.
"Though everyone has the right to follow the traditions of their respective religions and governments should respect them, we are opposed to religion being turned into politics and made its tool," he said.
To a question, he said that though the Congress wants Rahul Gandhi to become the prime minister of the country, the last decision in this regard has to be taken by the party vice president himself.
When questioned on continued violation of ceasefire by Pakistan on the borders, the Union External Affairs Minister said Indian soldiers were giving a befitting reply to it to underline that we are not weak and are firm on the issue of security.
Minority Affairs Minister K Rahman Khan said it is the responsibility of the Uttar Pradesh government to maintain law and order in the state.
"It is the responsibility of the Uttar Pradesh government that law and order is maintained. Whatever steps the government took regarding the yatra or other things were its responsibility...The Centre has nothing to do with it," Khan said.
Speaking to newspersons in Farrukhabad, his parliamentary constituency, Khurshid later said that organisers of the yatra should have gone to Supreme Court after the high court dismissed their appeal against the ban.
"While it is the responsibility of the state governement to work as per the rules... It is also the responsibility of the people to follow the constitution," Khurshid said.
To a question on whether the yatra was a "fixed match" between Samajwadi Party and BJP, he said, "everyone knows about it, why do you want me to say it".
As to when self-styled godman Asaram Bapu would be arrested, Khurshid said any action would be taken only after the completion of the inquiry into the allegations against him of having sexually exploited a minor girl.
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