Rahul Gandhi Ayodhya Visit during Kisan Yatra evokes mixed reaction
Party veterans recall that it was during the Congress rule in 1949 that the lock of Babri Masjid - Ram temple complex was opened. Of course the order for the same was given by a magistrate but the party had ruled the country then . Again in 1986 when the lock of the main part of the complex
Lucknow: Why did Rahul Gandhi go to Hanuman Garhi and not to the make-shift Ram Lala temple in Ayodhya which is less than a kilo metre away? The issue is being debated in the political corridors since Friday when he went there in course of his Kisan Yatra which will end next month. The exercise will continue for a long time to come.
A common guess is that he tried to distance himself from the controversial site and send a message to the Muslim community that the Congress is still with them and that the party had played no role in the demolition of the Babri Masjid which had existed there for centuries before 1992.
Another message could be that his party has nothing in common with the rival Bhartiya Janta Party and that it was this party which was responsible only for the demolition.
Whether this will work in favour of the party or not is another matter but at least the party would be hoping that it will. It may in case of fence -sitters who are neither with the Samajwadi Party nor with the Bahujan Samaj Party, which are the community's favourites , largely.
The number of undecided members of the community is just a guess but even if the party makes a small dent into the community it is worth the effort. Probably Rahul hopes so and was trying to do just that. The party's downfall began after many Muislims and Dalits left the party and embraced other parties including the SP and the BSP which are the main political forces in the state.
It may be also an attempt to tell the most of the members of the community that the impression that the Congress or particularly the then Prime Minister Narsimha Rao was responsible for the demolition was wrong .
In any case, it is a fact that he is the first member of Gandhi family to visit the temple town after the demolition. The party leaders especially those in the Gandhi family kept it out of their itinerary before Rahul's visit. The reason could be to keep a safe distance from the pro and anti- Hindu forces.
His father and the then Prime Minister had visited the place in 1990 but had not gone to any temple which is in plenty in the town. His wife Sonia had gone to the area but she too had kept away from the temples. The reason could be that the temple town had not assumed the importance it acquired in late 1990s when BJP senior L K Advani undertook the Rath Yatra.
Whatever may be thinking in the Congress circles, inside the BJP there is no worry on this account. The party believes that whatever ploy the Congress uses , Muslims will not forget the party's doings in Ayodhya in 1992 and before.
Party veterans recall that it was during the Congress rule in 1949 that the lock of Babri Masjid - Ram temple complex was opened. Of course the order for the same was given by a magistrate but the party had ruled the country then . Again in 1986 when the lock of the main part of the complex , the sanctum sanctorum, was opened the party was at the helm of affairs as in 1992 when the complex was razed to the ground and a make-shift Ram temple was built. The temple still exists but not the mosque. It is not easy for the minority community to keep it out of the memory lane.