With PM Narendra Modi’s greeting of “Jai Shri Ram” while addressing Aishbagh Ramlila in Lucknow Tuesday being interpreted as a statement of BJP’s position in poll-bound Uttar Pradesh, the party has said there was nothing political about the PM’s chant. BJP national secretary Shrikant Sharma said Ram is the symbol of Indian culture, and only those who do not believe in it would find fault with his name being uttered.
“Lord Ram is a venerable figure for us. It is natural for the Prime Minister to take his name from the stage of a Ramlila. Those who believe in Indian culture will have no objection to it,” he said.
Sharma accused parties like SP, BSP and Congress of “Modi phobia”, stemming from an acute awareness about their own failures on the development front.
Modi had begun his address at the Ramlila with an exhortation of Ram, which political rivals are interpreting as an indication that BJP is set to revert to the Ram Mandir agenda in a bid to consolidate Hindu votes ahead of the UP polls. The Ram Mandir issue has not been at the forefront of the BJP’s agenda for some time now with development being its new calling card.