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OpinionsBJP leadership confident of getting political mileage from Ram Mandir

BJP leadership confident of getting political mileage from Ram Mandir


With massive investments and more coming, Ayodhya is drawing global attention

By Harihar Swarup

Idol of Ram as a child will be installed in the sanctum sanctorum on January 22, in Prime Minister Narendra Modi's presence. The consecration will mark an epochal change in 's history.

The infrastructure development has been rapid. An airport, a class railway station with Vande Bharat trains from main cities, a new township, five-star hotels and highway would link the once sleepy town to rest of the world. Prospects of fast growth in real estate and have been attracting private investments as well. Ayodhya now faces the burden of changing fast enough to keep pace with the influx of pilgrims from across the world.

“Ayodhya was a magnificent city, full of wealth and bliss and at the peak of prosperity”, Modi said in a recent rally in the temple town. “We need to reconnect with the ancient identity of Ayodhya and integrate it with modernity”.

Ayodhya is likely to become India's religious capital, its cultural significance far outweighing the electoral importance. “ We are not comparing, but it is obvious that Ayodhya is likely to become India's major pilgrim centre”, Alok Kumar, international working president of the Vishwa Hindu Parishad said. “The temple gives the message of social harmony, removal of caste prejudice, dignity of women and annihilation of terrorism. The message is of positivity—maryada, sheel, parakram (righteous, good conduct and valour)”.

The BJP aims to whip up a sentiment around the temple for a third term for Modi. The removal of Article 370 and the building of Ram temple are two emotive issues that the party will rely on in the Lok Sabha polls, along with efforts to pull to votes of beneficiaries of development schemes. There are 104 crore registered beneficiaries of various schemes in the country, a constituency the BJP has nurtured. During the 2019 elections, the BJP polled more than 22 crore votes—37 per cent of the polled votes.

Opposition parties have accused the BJP of using the temple for political gains, even as they struggle to come up with a counter narrative to Modi's message on both. “Building a magnificent temple in Ayodhya has been an unfulfilled agenda for centuries, and particularly for the last few decades”, said BJP spokesman Nalin Kohli. “ In the 1980s, the BJP articulated this as a clear mission, not an ideological one. The construction of the temple and its inauguration mark the fulfilment of a long pending national desire. It's homecoming, in a sense that it brings justice.”

The BJP had turned the temple construction as a key poll promise in the country in the recently concluded assembly polls and won three states in the Hindi heartland, BJP ruled, will now fund pilgrimage to Ayodhya. More than 2.5 crore people are expected to visit the temple in the next two months.

“The BJP banks on the sterling leadership of PM and believes in his performance—driven government”, said Kohli. “It believes in his positive agenda of creating a new India with a mission of ‘sabka saath, sabka viswas, sabka pryas', sabka Prayas' (together, for every one's growth, with everyone's threat and everyone's trust and everyone's effort). There is a new class of voters — the beneficiaries of the government's positive initiatives, and those who take pride in India's global and economic stature. This is the agenda that people will vote for.  (IPA Service)




The Northlines is an independent source on the Web for news, facts and figures relating to Jammu, Kashmir and Ladakh and its neighbourhood.

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