Congress general secretary in charge of eastern Uttar Pradesh, Priyanka Gandhi Vadra, who is set to campaign in Ayodhya on March 29, is likely to avoid visiting the makeshift Ram Lala temple on the disputed site. However, soures said she may visit Hanuman Garhi temple nearby. Satyendra Das, chief priest of the Ram Lala temple, urged Priyanka to visit the temple and make the party’s stand clear on the construction of Ram temple there.
“The dispute of Ram Janmabhoomi reached its peak during the Congress rule. Be it the demolition of the Babri Masjid in 1992 or the opening of gates to the disputed site, it was the Congress government at the Centre. Since she has taken over responsibility in the party, we expect her to make the party’s stand clear about on Ram Temple construction in Ayodhya,” said Das.
Party in a tough spot?
For Congress, with Priyanka Gandhi Vadra visiting temples in every district that she went to during her first campaign visit to the state, the call by Satyendra Das for Priyanka to clarify her stand on Ram Temple and also visit the disputed site is likely to put the party in a tough spot. Congress has been avoiding being part of the controversy. Even Rahul Gandhi, during his campaign before the Assembly polls, had returned after a visit to Hanuman Hari.
“Ayodhya is known for Lord Ram and his temple. What is the purpose of either returning from Faizabad or just returning after visiting Hanuman Garhi. She should visit Ram Lala,” he added. On Wednesday, Priyanka will address workers in Musafirkhana area in Amethi, during her first visit to her brother Rahul’s constituency after taking over as Congress general secretary. Party president Rahul Gandhi had told party workers during his previous visit to the constituency that Priyanka, who was so far campaigning for her mother and brother, would visit them soon. On March 28, Priyanka will attend a meeting of the party workers at Bhuvemau Guest house in Rae Bareli. However, Priyanka’s schedule in Amethi and Rae Bareli are not finalised. She was earlier scheduled to reach Ayodhya from Delhi by train and spend a day there holding a road show, before moving to Amethi. But the plan was changed on Tuesday.
Sources said that in Faizabad, from where the party has fielded former MP and former state president Nirmal Khatri, Priyanka is likely to address “nukkad meetings”. Rahul visited Ayodhya before the 2017 Assembly elections but he had also visited only Hanuman Gari and had avoided visit to make-shift Ram temple. Rahul had also held road show in Ayodhya and sources inform that even Priyanka is also likely to hold a road show in Faizabad on March 29.