BJP reignites Ayodhya Ram Mandir issue in its election manifesto
Lucknow: The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) national president Amit Shah on Friday reignited the Ram Mandir issue in its party manifesto for Uttar Pradesh Assembly polls 2017, apparently to woo Hindu voters across the state.
While releasing the BJP manifesto, titled as 'Lok Kalyan Sankalp Patra' (Pledge for People’s Welfare), Amit Shah said, "BJP will ensure the construction of Ram Mandir on Ram Janm Bhoomi in Ayodhya at the earliest under the provisions of the constitution, if voted to power in the state."
The political experts believe that the statement was made to polarise the electorate of Uttar Pradesh on the basis of religion. The BJP president, however, in his address at the Indira Gandhi Pratishthan here, blamed the ruling Samajwadi Party of dividing people on the grounds of caste and religion for political benefits.
It may be mentioned here that this is not the first instance when BJP has seemed active over the issue of Ram Mandir. Recently, BJP leader and Union minister Mahesh Sharma visited Ayodhya, apparently to inspect the site for the construction of a Ramayana museum.
Sharma, who is a BJP parliamentarian from the Gautam Budh Nagar constituency, however, had rubbished the reports saying that he just visited the city in his capacity as a tourism minister and it had nothing to do with Ram Mandir or the UP elections.
The opposition parties had raised questions over his visit saying that the BJP was again going to trigger the Ram Mandir issue for political benefits ahead of the UP Assembly elections.
Ever since the Allahabad High Court pronounced its verdict over Ayodhya dispute on September 30, 2010, there has been a demand for bringing in a law for construction of the Ram Mandir in Ayodhya.
Recently, the Samajwadi Party also tried to attract Hindu voters of the state by announcing to open a Ramleela Theme Park in the district.
Ayodhya has been a stronghold of the BJP and for maintaining their support base, they need to show intent on the Ram Mandir issue.
The Babri Mosque was razed to grounds 24 years back in Ayodhya by extremist Hindu groups, triggering the most violent communal rights India had ever witnessed. In Hindu Scriptures and authentic text, Ayodhya has been described as the birthplace of Lord Ram, thus, the Hindu groups of the district are demanding for construction of the Ram Temple there.