Updated: December 20, 2016 9:52:53 am
THE CENTRE’S plan to announce a two-lane stretch for the 84-Kosi Parikrama route, a prominent religious procession for circumambulation (circling on foot), could reignite the party’s politics over Ram Temple.
With the Election Commission expected to announce dates for Uttar Pradesh Assembly elections any day, the BJP-led Central government is announcing a series of road projects in the state to woo the voters.
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On December 21, Union Surface and Shipping Minister Nitin Gadkari is likely to announce the Rs 750-crore project for the 275-km two-lane road for the 84-Kosi Parikrama route, which will go through Basti, Gorakhpur, Balrampur, Shrawasti, Bahraich and Faizabad districts.
Gadkari is expected to lay foundation stones for various road projects, together worth Rs 4,904 crore, during his UP visit. This includes the Pratapgarh-Allahabad bypass, a four-lane road from Allahabad to UP-Madhya Pradesh border; a parallel bridge to the existing Phaphamau bridge in Allahabad; and widening of the four-lane stretch from Ghaghara river to Varanasi Khand. Gadkari is also also expected to lay the foundation stone for widening of Jagadishpur-Faizabad road.
Although BJP leaders admit that construction of the Ram Temple is yet to resonate much with the electorate, many feel the announcement of the two-lane pilgrimage route will please hardcore supporters. Every year, thousands of Hindu sages from different parts of the country take out the yatra on this route.
While the BJP lost Ayodhya Assembly seat, the party’s bastion since 1991, to the Samajwadi Party in 2012 Assembly elections, BJP’s Lallu Singh won Faizabad seat in the 2014 Lok Sabha elections. Ayodhya comes under Faizabad constituency.
A section of BJP leaders contend that the party did not perform to expectation in the temple town due to lack of infrastructure development in and around Ayodhya. Lallu Singh has said that the area should be developed before construction of the temple.
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