Advani tones down Mandir mantra,goes back to basics

In an apparent attempt to downplay the Ram temple issue which was recently raked up at the BJP’s national council meeting at Nagpur...

Written by Sanjay Singh | Gorakhpur | Published: February 16, 2009 1:45:00 am

In an apparent attempt to downplay the Ram temple issue which was recently raked up at the BJP’s national council meeting at Nagpur,the BJP’s prime ministerial candidate Lal Krishna Advani said on Sunday that the slogan of “Jai Shri Ram” will be justified only after the construction of a temple in Ayodhya.

Addressing his first election rally in Gorakhpur, Advani made a brief reference to the temple issue when a group of people chanted “Jai Shri Ram”. instead,he devoted his speech to issues like inflation,unemployment and highlighting the failures of the UPA government.

“My political Guru was Pandit Deen Dayal Upadhyay. He believed in the one mantra — har hath ko kaam,har khet ko pani,” said Advani. It is only three elements — employment,farmers and irrigational facilities — which can ensure the prosperity of the country,he said. Advani described the UPA government as the worst he had seen in his political career. “I have been actively participating in all elections since 1952. I can say that the most painful rule was that of the UPA,” he said.

“This is Sonia Gandhi’s raj. Manmohan Singh cannot take any decision on his own,” he added. Advani appealed to the voters to get a feedback from the BJP-ruled states.

He specifically urged Muslims to get reports about the work of the Gujarat government. He blamed the Opposition for casting aspersions on Narendra Modi’s image by undertaking a vicious campaign. “It is in Gujarat,where the per capita income of Muslims is the highest. Bahut khush hain,anand se hain,” he said.

Interestingly,BJP’s Gorakhpur candidate Yogi Adityanath has an anti-Muslim image. He is associated with the Gorakhpur math and the party venue had more saffron flags than the BJP green and saffron flags.

The rally was publicised as Vijay Shankalp Rally,but according to Advani,it was Yogi who had changed it to “Rashtra Raksha Vijay Shankalp Rally”. He said the size of the rally wasn’t as big as the other party rallies,but it was high on enthusiasm. 

Reiterating BJP’s stand on Afzal Guru,the convict in the Parliament attack case,Advani promised that he would be hanged if the NDA returns to power. “Had he been some Anand Singh or Anand Mohan Singh,he would have been hanged by now,” he said.

The BJP national president,Rajnath Singh,addressed the rally before Advani arrived,and left soon saying he had another rally to attend in New Delhi.

Party general secretary Arun Jaitely,who accompanied Advani,delivered a short speech,describing Advani as the most suitable candidate for the PM’s post because he had unmatched confidence and the capacity to take decisions.

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