BJP unlikely to gain in Uttar Pradesh polls if it continues to see only Ram Temple in Ayodhya

As the BJP works to get Ayodhya, and UP, back from the SP, it will have to see more than just the Ram Temple in Ayodhya.

Written by RAMENDRA SINGH | Lucknow | Published:October 18, 2016 5:24 pm
bjp, bjp uttar pradesh, ram mandir, bjp ram mandir, Ayodhya, ram mandir Ayodhya, uttar pradesh elections, up elections, uttar pradesh assembly elections, up assembly elections, uttar pradesh Mahesh Sharma’s visit to the temple town, has reignited the politics over Ram Temple just a few months before the Uttar Pradesh assembly elections are to be announced. (Source: Express file photo)

The Central government’s project to develop a Ramayan Museum in Ayodhya, which became news days before Tuesday’s visit of Union Tourism Minister Mahesh Sharma to the temple town, has reignited the politics over Ram Temple just a few months before the Uttar Pradesh assembly elections are to be announced. Sharma’s visit to Ayodhya, where he is also slated to pay a visit to the makeshift Ram temple at the disputed site of Ram Janmabhoomi-Babri Masjid and meet Vishwa Hindu Parishad leaders linked to the temple movement besides discussing the tourism development with locals, is unlikely to benefit the BJP in coming elections if it continues to see only the Ram Temple in Ayodhya.

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As many surveys and the results of last several elections have suggested, the issue of constructing a Ram Temple has stopped resonating with the UP electorate. In 2009 when Lal Krishna Advani, one of the faces of Ram Mandir movement, was BJP’s prime ministerial candidate, the party won only 10 seats in UP. In 2012 assembly elections, the Samajwadi Party for the first time won Ayodhya seat which had been with the BJP since 1991. It was an indication that BJP could not win Ayodhya, let alone UP, just by associating itself with the construction of Ram Temple.

Ayodhya was exploited politically for decades by political parties but was rarely given anything, though it is one of the most visited religious sites by domestic tourists in India with more than one crore Indians paying a visit every year. It still remains devoid of most of the basic facilities and development. As the BJP works to get Ayodhya, and UP, back from the SP, it will have to see more than just the Ram Temple in Ayodhya.

The Centre’s project as well as those initiated by Akhilesh Yadav government for development of tourism in Ayodhya have been long in the pipeline and show the changing politics over the temple town. The opposition parties like the Congress and BSP have, however, linked them with UP elections.

But the BJP, as a prudent strategy, is likely to go ahead with its plans of development in Ayodhya which has remained devoid of tourism facilities and severely lacks in development work, one of the reasons why people shunned the BJP in 2012. Developing places of Hindu pilgrimage in Ayodhya, Mathura and Varanasi, like the cleaning of the Ganga, may not be as emotive an issue as the Ram temple, but it affirms the party’s dedication to the Hindu identity.

However, the opposition, as it has indicated, could also carry to excess its criticism of the Central government’s involvement in Ayodhya and may end up helping the BJP. While the BJP has a clear goal of consolidating Hindu votes for the next assembly elections, the parties like Congress find it difficult to handle such an issue as was evident from Rahul Gandhi’s visit to Ayodhya last month when he paid his first visit to the town but did not go to the makeshift temple at the disputed site which is claimed to be the birth place of Lord Ram.

The UP Cabinet’s decision on Monday to approve the use of red sandstone at an under-construction Ram Leela Theme Park also led to questions from BSP chief Mayawati who said the BJP and the SP are trying to link religion with politics before elections. For Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav, the development of an international Ram Leela Centre, which will also include a Ram Leela Theme Park, gives an opportunity to showcase his party’s secular credentials and change the image of a radically pro-minority party which cost it in 2014 Lok Sabha elections.

The police firing on karsevaks in Ayodhya in 1990, when Mulayam Singh Yadav was chief minister, made him popular among Muslims in UP. But the popularity of Modi in UP has threatened the SP’s Hindu support base as was visible in Lok Sabha elections results. Since then, Akhilesh has tried to change that image with more focus on development. He has already inducted first-time MLA from Ayodhya, Pawan Pandey, as a minister in his government.

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  1. V
    Vikas
    Oct 18, 2016 at 1:29 pm
    People of UP now knows that Ayodhya issue has been milked too much by BJP now if the keep on milking this issue the cow itself will die...
    Reply
    1. A
      Ajay G
      Oct 18, 2016 at 4:42 pm
      BJP has to answer the core consuency. Some visible efforts will always be there, whether BJP is in power or not. It was on their agenda in 2014 too. Manifesto mentioned it.
      Reply
      1. H
        Harry
        Oct 18, 2016 at 5:26 pm
        But secu of India will die before that.
        Reply
        1. S
          stranger
          Oct 18, 2016 at 10:24 pm
          the first thing needed is to project someone whose words people will generally trust. other than varun none in up has this stature. if bjp indeed makes overt or covert references to temple without naming a cm then it will only be considered as a ploy to weaken the demand.
          Reply
          1. J
            J G
            Oct 18, 2016 at 10:55 pm
            After seeing track record of the promises made by BJP coupled with ground realities the BJP seems to be on slippery grounds.The kisan card of Congress is sure to affect the election in UP,if the gathering is an indication Congress appears to make a comeback let us see the further moves and public response to reach any judgement
            Reply
            1. B
              Bharat
              Oct 18, 2016 at 1:19 pm
              People like sentimental issues to vote in the name of religion. Therefore, politicians use this nerve and play with human sentiments. There will never be an election where party only get votes on its achievements by delivering like one crores jobs to young, 24 hrs electricity, concrete roads everywhere, setting up of decent hospitals to avoid visit to Delhi by all poor patients and above all strict law and order where there is no murder, crime, eleimination of mafia gangs of land-drugs etc.
              Reply
              1. J
                jaya
                Oct 18, 2016 at 5:13 pm
                BJP is NOT raising the Ram Mandir issue, the Congress mindset media is bringing up this issue.
                Reply
                1. M
                  Manzoor
                  Oct 18, 2016 at 2:34 pm
                  Because not a single political party has done anything for the country which can be claimed as an achievement.
                  Reply
                  1. M
                    Manzoor
                    Oct 18, 2016 at 2:30 pm
                    Comm**unal conflict is a time tested formula for BJP hence will be used before each election.
                    Reply
                    1. M
                      Manzoor
                      Oct 18, 2016 at 2:31 pm
                      Who started this?
                      Reply
                      1. M
                        Manzoor
                        Oct 18, 2016 at 2:14 pm
                        BJP's vision statement:lt;br/gt;राम राम जपना पराया माल अपना..।
                        Reply
                        1. M
                          Mayur Panghaal
                          Oct 18, 2016 at 1:42 pm
                          Not satisfied with the thousands of deaths and blood on the streets of India due to the earlier demolition, if people needed to see hear this to understand the real DNA of BJP, then I have to say that people are zombies.
                          Reply
                          1. A
                            Arun Kumar
                            Oct 18, 2016 at 4:26 pm
                            Inflation of common goods especially in cereals and vegetables make life of common man uncomfortable. The govt diplomacy in BRICKS failed. Job creation is negative especially in rural area. Their pre election words of curb on black money is biting dust. Ramlala will sure to help the party by polarisation of Hindu votes and for this reason Modi chanted Jaisriram at Lucknow rally. So cheap and so mean.
                            Reply
                            1. R
                              Rajiv Nair
                              Oct 18, 2016 at 12:01 pm
                              Is Mr. Ramachandra Sing is the mind reader of UP public.Just write out your frustration and get satisfied....
                              Reply
                              1. S
                                Sinai
                                Oct 18, 2016 at 8:21 pm
                                Advani's Bjp, not Modi's. And Advani has been parked
                                Reply
                                1. S
                                  Sinai
                                  Oct 18, 2016 at 8:16 pm
                                  BJP is not raising the RAM temple, its the opposition that feeds on Muslim Votebank along with sickular media is potraying it.
                                  Reply
                                  1. S
                                    Sinai
                                    Oct 18, 2016 at 8:18 pm
                                    Land Reforms would have created rural jobs, but then all of the sickular brigae pla the farmer victim card..Now let all rural folks go and farm..farm and farm on a non fertile land with poor yiiled and when banks come calling, do suicide
                                    Reply
                                    1. S
                                      Sinai
                                      Oct 18, 2016 at 8:20 pm
                                      nope govt is on right track on black money..you will be one of the dumb who were sold on 100 days and 15 lakhs, moron
                                      Reply
                                      1. S
                                        Sinai
                                        Oct 18, 2016 at 8:21 pm
                                        ofcourse, to garner muslim votes
                                        Reply
                                        1. S
                                          Sinai
                                          Oct 18, 2016 at 8:20 pm
                                          well said mate, kudos..This Mayur is an
                                          Reply
                                          1. I
                                            Indian
                                            Oct 18, 2016 at 4:44 pm
                                            BJP is not going to do anything for Hindus. SP actually helped rioters during muzzafarnagar riots. Looks like SP is planning soft hindutva strategy.
                                            Reply
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