- Ramnagari Ayodhya at the center of next year’s UP elections
- Leaders of all parties are starting the election campaign from Ayodhya
- BJP started enlightened conferences, BSP started Brahmin conferences
- SP has also used Ayodhya as a launching pad
The construction work of Ram temple in Ayodhya is going on in full swing. Assembly elections are going to be held in Uttar Pradesh for the first time after the Supreme Court’s decision on the construction of the temple. Political parties starting their respective election campaigns from Ramnagari is a sufficient indication that Ayodhya and Ram Mandir will be very important in the election season of UP. In a landmark judgment on November 6, 2019, the apex court had paved the way for the construction of a Ram temple in Ayodhya, the site of a legal battle. Ayodhya is once again in the news as the agitation for the assembly elections increases.
Be it Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) or Samajwadi Party (SP), all parties are choosing Ayodhya to start their election campaign. Parties like All India Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen (AIMIM) and Jansatta Loktantrik Dal have also chosen Ayodhya to start their election season. Presently BJP’s Vedprakash Gupta is the MLA from Ayodhya Constituency. Prime Minister Narendra Modi performed Bhoomi Pujan for the construction of a grand temple in Ayodhya on August 5, 2020. After that, Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath has been visiting Ram Nagari continuously. This shows that BJP is trying to keep the temple issue alive.
BJP begins enlightened conferences from Ayodhya
In view of the assembly elections, the BJP chose Ayodhya to start its series of enlightened conferences from September 5. In the first enlightened conference, BJP state president Swatantra Dev Singh referred to the then Prime Minister Indira Gandhi’s order to shoot at the saints gheraoing the Parliament in 1966 and the then SP government of Uttar Pradesh in 1990 to shoot kar sevaks in Ayodhya. This indicated that the BJP is still looking at fertilizer and water for its electoral farming in the Ayodhya issue. The party chose the Saryu river in Ayodhya for the immersion of the ashes of former Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Kalyan Singh, who was one of the prominent leaders of the Ram temple movement. Now with the elections approaching, the movement of BJP leaders in more numbers has started in Ayodhya.
Lord Ram was never an election issue for BJP: Manish Shukla
However, like before, BJP is still refusing to consider Ayodhya and Ram temple as political issues. State BJP spokesperson Manish Shukla said, Lord Ram and his temple is a matter of faith for us and always will be. We have never seen it as an election issue.
BSP leader held Brahmin convention after seeing Ramlala
Not only BJP, but other parties are also feeling their electoral success in Ayodhya. The BSP, led by former Chief Minister Mayawati, started its Brahmin conventions on July 23 from Ayodhya itself. BSP’s national general secretary Satish Chandra Mishra addressed the first Brahmin convention after visiting Ram Lalla in Ayodhya. During this, he had said that the ruling BJP should give account of the donations collected in the name of Ram temple during the last three decades.
Ramnagari is also important for SP
The Samajwadi Party has also used Ayodhya as a launching pad for the upcoming assembly elections. Party’s state president Naresh Uttam Patel took part in the ‘Save farm, save employment’ campaign organized in Ayodhya on September 3. Former SP MLA from Ayodhya Tej Narayan Pandey alias Pawan Pandey said that the SP’s program held on September 3 is the party’s bugle for the 2022 assembly elections against the anti-people, anti-farmer and anti-poor policies of the BJP. SP will win more seats this time than the 224 seats it got in the year 2012.
‘Akhilesh government had given the biggest package to Ayodhya itself’
When asked how much importance the party attaches to Ayodhya, SP spokesperson Juhi Singh said, “Ayodhya is important to us and it is a major milestone in the journey being undertaken by party state president Naresh Uttam Patel. When the SP government was in the state under the leadership of Akhilesh Yadav, it had given the biggest development package to Ayodhya itself. Be it 16 kosi parikrama, plantation according to Ramayana, establishment of museum or beautification of various pilgrimage sites and ghats, Akhilesh Sarkar did meaningful work for all. During the tenure of the SP government, necessary changes were made in the Purvanchal Expressway so that Ayodhya can also be connected to this expressway.
Raja Bhaiya also started from Ayodhya
Bahubali MLA Raghuraj Pratap Singh alias Raja Bhaiya, who is leading the Jansatta Loktantrik Dal, interacted with the party workers on August 31, starting his election campaign for Uttar Pradesh from Ayodhya itself. Hyderabad MP and AIMIM leader Asaduddin Owaisi also chose Dhannipur area of Ayodhya to start his election campaign. This is the same village where Muslims have been given five acres of land to build a mosque on the orders given by the Supreme Court while directing the construction of Ram temple in Ayodhya. Alleging that Muslims were being duped in the name of secularism, Owaisi announced that his party would contest 100 assembly seats in Uttar Pradesh to defeat the BJP. He said that it is his endeavor to create a leadership of Muslims in Uttar Pradesh.
Owaisi engaged in cultivating Muslims
In his public meetings in Sultanpur and Barabanki, Owaisi tried to tell the Muslims how various political parties took votes from him but did nothing for them. While various political parties are finding their electoral interest in Ayodhya, the Congress remains untouched by it. State Congress spokesperson Abbas Haider said that Ayodhya, Mathura, Kashi, Mahadeva and Deva Sharif are equal for the Congress. He said that the party has announced to undertake a journey of 12,000 kms in various villages and towns of Uttar Pradesh.
Ayodhya at the center of UP elections