BJP goes all out to capture land of Ram

PTI, 25-02-2017 07:20:42

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BJP goes all out to capture land of Ram

Saffron flags fluttering atop houses in the narrow and cramped lanes of this temple town may give the impression that the BJP, which had suffered a shocking defeat here in the 2012 Assembly polls, may have a smooth sailing this time.

But party leaders admit that the fight is not going to be as easy as it appears. The BJP, which won the Faizabad Lok Sabha seat riding the Narendra Modi wave in the 2014 parliamentary elections, is now going all out to win back the Ayodhya Assembly segment — the epicentre of the Ram temple movement — which had been its bastion since 1991. Polling here is on Monday.

Stress on development

“We are certain to win the seat this time. People want development of Ayodhya and only a BJP government can ensure that,” said BJP nominee Ved Prakash Gupta. 

The saffron party, however, faces a tough challenge not only from incumbent SP legislator and Uttar Pradesh Minister Tej Narain Pandey, but also from within itself. A section of local leaders are unhappy with Gupta’s nomination. 

The Ram temple, which once dominated the poll scene here, is no longer an issue and no one, not even BJP leaders, wants to talk about it. “The matter is in court and we will abide by its order,” Gupta said. 

His utterances may not be in line with that of some other leaders in the party.

Development seems to have replaced every other issue. And both the Akhilesh Yadav regime in the state and the BJP government at the Centre have sought to woo the residents of the temple town with a slew of projects, including those on the Ram theme.

Meanwhile, SP nominee Pawan Pandey is sweating hard to garner the support of Brahmins, besides the traditional voters from the Muslim and Yadav communities.

But a section of Muslim voters may support BSP candidate Mohammed Bazmi. “There may be a division in the Muslim votes and some may also support Bazmi,” said Mohammed Shafiq, a fruit vendor.

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