Ahead of 2019 Lok Sabha polls, politics over Ram temple makes a comeback; Hindu priests meet Yogi
Lucknow, June 7: Those who predicted that politics over Ram temple will make a comeback ahead of the all-important General elections in 2019 are proven right as Hindu priests are busy pressing the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) to build the Ram temple in Ayodhya, Uttar Pradesh at the earliest, these days.
On Thursday, several influential Hindu priests met Uttar Pradesh chief minister Yogi Adityanath in Lucknow over the issue of Ram temple in Ayodhya, reported ANI. The priests told the news agency before the meeting that "matter of the temple (Ram temple) has to be taken seriously. If this isn't taken up, we'll see what to do in 2019".
The statement by the priests asking the BJP government to take the temple issue "seriously" was a veiled threat to the current regime to fulfill its election promise of building the Ram temple at the disputed site of Ram Janmabhoomi in Ayodhya, Uttar Pradesh, if the saffron party wants to stay in power.
The outcome of the meeting between the Uttar Pradesh CM and the priests is yet to be revealed.
"Lucknow: A group of priests, including Mahant Suresh Das, are meeting CM Yogi Adityanath over the issue of Ram temple in Ayodhya today, say 'Matter of the temple will have to be taken seriously. If this isn't taken up, we'll see what to do in 2019'. Meeting is underway," tweeted ANI.
Lucknow: A group of priests, including Mahant Suresh Das, are meeting CM Yogi Adityanath over the issue of Ram temple in Ayodhya today, say 'Matter of the temple will have to be taken seriously. If this isn't taken up, we'll see what to do in 2019'. Meeting is underway. pic.twitter.com/maD55bdrR2— ANI UP (@ANINewsUP) June 7, 2018
A powerful Hindu priest on Tuesday challenged the ruling regime to construct the Ram temple in the disputed site of Ram Janmabhoomi. Mahant Paramhans Das told ANI that if the BJP did not build the temple then Hindu priests would start a movement to defeat the saffron party in the upcoming General elections in 2019.
"If they (the BJP) want to come back to power in 2019, then they have to build the Ram temple, else we will start a movement and make sure they are defeated," the priest told ANI while reacting to minority affairs minister Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi's Sunday statement when he said that development will be the only issue in the 2019 elections.
Replying to a question on the issue of Ram temple and Hindutva, Naqvi said, "Vikas, vikas and vikas will be our prime agenda for the 2019 elections." Talking to reporters, the minister added that PM Modi and the BJP government are focused on the development of the country.
The statement of Naqvi seemed to have irked the Hindu priests who were promised by the BJP during the 2014 Lok Sabha polls that the Ram temple would be constructed if the saffron party comes to power.
In fact, building the Hindu temple in the disputed site of Ayodhya has been a core issue of the BJP in almost all the elections. After coming to power neither Prime Minister Narendra Modi nor his cabinet colleagues have explicitly said anything about building the temple. Rather PM Modi has always stressed on vikas as his biggest political mantra.
In Uttar Pradesh, the Adityanath government has been asked by the Hindu Yuva Vahini to expedite the construction of the temple or else the Hindu outfit will sever its ties with the BJP. The Hindu Yuva Vahini, a youth organisation, was founded by Adityanath in Gorakhpur. The matter regarding the building of Ram temple in Ayodhya is pending with the Supreme Court.