BJP once again playing Ram temple card to exploit sentiments of people: Opposition
With various saffron outfits upping their ante on the Ram temple issue in Ayodhya, the Uttar Pradesh opposition parties Monday dubbed their activities as a BJP's "political gimmick" before the 2019 Lok Sabha polls aimed at exploiting the peoples' "sentiments" in its favour.
"The BJP is once again playing the Ram temple card to exploit the sentiments of people in its favour before the 2019 Lok Sabha polls. It is a political gimmick as the BJP does not have any development agenda and has decided to rely on an issue which is subjudice," Samajwadi Party leader and MLC Rajpal Kashyap told PTI.
He said the state government has "nothing to its credit in over one year and eight months of its rule".
"Except for renaming and relaunching projects started by the previous SP regime, the BJP government has done nothing on the ground and the people are well aware of it," he said, adding that raking up the Ram temple issue and renaming cities will not work this time and the BJP is "bound to taste defeat".
"In the bye-elections, the BJP had to face humiliating defeats in the constituencies of Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath (Gorakhpur) and Deputy CM Keshav Prasad Maurya (Phulpur). It's enough to show public sentiments," he said.
Congress spokesperson Mukesh Singh Chauhan too endorsed the SP leader's views. He said, "The BJP's prime agenda is to divide the society and take political mileage out of it. Raking up the Ram temple issue and promoting its outfits for the same is the BJP's strategy to win the 2019 polls."
"Our party believes in secularism and we will counter any attempt to spread communalism," he said.
After the VHP's high-powered committee demanded last month a law to build the Ram temple and VHP leaders appealed to Prime Minister Narendra Modi to take the Parliament route, RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat too endorsed their statements.
On Diwali, UP Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath renamed Faizabad as Ayodhya and his Cabinet ministers, including Shrikant Sharma, made statements for building Ram temple, as a result of which the issue has hotted up once again.
Besides announcing a medical college that would be named after Lord Ram's father in the epic Ramayana, Raja Dashrath, the CM has also proposed to build an airport in Ayodhya after Lord Ram.
The pro-Ram temple activities intensified in Ayodhya after the VHP decided to hold a 'dharma sansad' there on November 25 with the saffron outfit expecting a crowd of over one lakh people.
Besides Ayodhya, similar 'dharma sansads' have been proposed to be held in Bengaluru and Nagpur. It will be followed by a 'dharma sabha' in New Delhi on December 9.
VHP senior leader Champat Rai had recently reviewed the arrangements for the 'dharma sansad' in Ayodhya.
RSS leaders also held a meeting at Karsewakpuram and is supporting VHP's 'dharma sansad' programme. The BJP too is ensuring its success.
Shiv Sena chief Uddhav Thackrey is also visiting Ayodhya on November 24 and will pay obeisance to Ram Lalla, a senior Shiv Sena leader said.
BJP spokesman Shalabh Mani Tripathi said, "We welcome leaders of all political hues in Ayodhya. This government has imposed no restriction on darshan of Ram Lalla. The law and order situation in the state is very good and those found disturbing communal peace will be severely dealt with," he said.
"Ram temple issue is associated with the sentiments of people," he added.
(With inputs from agencies.)