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BJP revives Ram temple plan ahead of polls

BJP revives Ram temple plan ahead of polls
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First Published: Sat, Feb 07 2009. 04 42 PM IST

BJP chief Rajnath Singh addresses party leaders at national executive meet in Nagpur on Saturday. PTI photo
BJP chief Rajnath Singh addresses party leaders at national executive meet in Nagpur on Saturday. PTI photo
Updated: Sat, Feb 07 2009. 04 42 PM IST
Nagpur: Raking up the Ayodhya issue ahead of the Lok Sabha elections, Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) chief Rajnath Singh on Saturday declared that nobody could shake the party’s faith in Lord Ram, for whom a magnificent temple will be built at Ayodhya.
Leaders of the BJP are meeting in Nagpur in a last major gathering before taking on the Congress party-led alliance in elections to be held in April and May.
“We will build the Ram temple in Ayodhya, and we are waiting for the right opportunity,” the party president told about 8,000 BJP members on Saturday.
“No one can alter our resolve.”
BJP chief Rajnath Singh addresses party leaders at national executive meet in Nagpur on Saturday. PTI photo
Singh said new laws could be formed to speed up construction of the temple, if it won the election.
The BJP had kept its pet issues like Ayodhya, Article 370 in Jammu and Kashmir and Uniform Civil Code on a backburner when it came to power in 1998 and tied up a coalition.
He lamented that during the last five years the Congress-led coalition at the Centre had failed to spare “even five minutes” for initiating dialogue to resolve the Ram Janambhoomi issue.
Experts said that move did not go well with its hardline supporters, and the party was now trying to woo them back before the biggest electoral exercise in the world gets underway.
“They are probably beginning to believe that the temple issue can win them votes,” Kuldip Nayar, a political analyst, said.
“The shift to the Ram temple issue can hurt the BJP badly.”
Others said reviving the temple issue will not go down well with its allies.
“The Ram temple was no longer a major election issue, but it seems the party is reviving it before elections,” Anil K. Verma, a political commentator, told Reuters. ”It could be self-defeating.”
Some analysts say a BJP victory could swing India to a stronger pro-market agenda after several years of reform stagnation that have investors worried about India’s capacity to sustain growth.
India is suffering an economic downturn and food prices have risen sharply, hurting millions of people.
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First Published: Sat, Feb 07 2009. 04 42 PM IST
More Topics: India votes | BJP | Elections | Ram temple | Ayodhya |