Ram Temple issue is heating up in Uttar Pradesh ahead of the crucial seven-phase Assembly elections starting February 11. Bhartiya Janata Party (BJP) has mentioned Ram Temple in its UP Poll manifesto, saying the party would make efforts to build the Ram Temple in Ayodhya under Constitutional provisions. However, this has not stopped opposition parties from attacking the saffron party for allegedly communalising elections in the state. Some of the BJP leaders have also not shied away from talking about the issue and clarifying that the BJP is committed to work for the cause.
Since the 1992 demolition of Babri Mosque by members of some Hindu groups considered close to the Bhartiya Janata Party, Ram Temple construction has remained an electoral matter, not just for the BJP but also for others who seek to attack the saffron party on the issue. Incidentally, the matter is still sub-judice, pending in the Supre Court.
Days after BJP leader Vinay Katiyar had courted controversy by saying that his party would build the Ram Temple in Ayodhya, BJP’s Gorakhpur MP Yogi Adityanath sparked another controversy by apparently suggesting that the Babri demolition was carried out by ‘Ram Bhakts’
“Ram Bhakts did whatever happened in Ayodhya,” Adityanath was quoted as saying by PTI during a press interaction on issues of Ram Temple, Ayodhya, Mathura and Kashi. He further said that whatever happens in the future in Ayodhya regarding the Ram Temple would be done by them as well. Adityanath didn’t, however, elaborate on what the ‘Ram Bhakts’ would do again in Ayodhya.
Adityanath also attacked opposition parties like SP and BSP, calling both parties always indulge in communal and caste politics but question secular credentials of BJP. “SP and BSP do all the work on the basis of caste and /religion unlike BJP, yet they call themselves secular. What type of secularism is this,” he said.
Western UP will go to polls in the first phase of UP elections on February 11. All parties are trying to woo Muslim voters of the region in their own separate ways. While talking to reporters, PM Modi even talked about the alleged exodus of Hindu residents from some regions in west UP.
The Gorakhpur MP said that he takes up matters which are of interest to people. “There are over two dozen areas, where it (exodus) is clearly visible. Population imbalance is a reality there and that cannot be ignored,” the MP said.