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Business News/ Elections / Assembly Elections/  Lok Sabha polls: Is BJP's Ayodhya Ram Mandir pitch failing to woo voters? PM Modi says ‘it was never a poll issue’
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Lok Sabha polls: Is BJP's Ayodhya Ram Mandir pitch failing to woo voters? PM Modi says ‘it was never a poll issue’

The Ayodhya Ram Mandir's Pran Pratistha ceremony was held with much fanfare, giving rise to speculations that it would help the Bharatiya Janata Party-led National Democratic Alliance gain an edge over the opposition parties in the upcoming Lok Sabha polls.

Supporters carrying cutouts of India's Prime Minister Narendra Modi arrive to attend an election campaign rally in Rajasthan's Pushkar on April 6, 2024, ahead of the country's upcoming general elections. (File Photo by Himanshu SHARMA / AFP) (AFP)Premium
Supporters carrying cutouts of India's Prime Minister Narendra Modi arrive to attend an election campaign rally in Rajasthan's Pushkar on April 6, 2024, ahead of the country's upcoming general elections. (File Photo by Himanshu SHARMA / AFP) (AFP)

As the Lok Sabha polls 2024 nears, the appeal of the Ayodhya Ram Mandir may be diminishing with voters, who want the government to address the rising unemployment in India, a survey has revealed. The Ayodhya Ram Mandir's Pran Pratistha ceremony was held with much fanfare, giving rise to speculations that this would help Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP)-led National Democratic Alliance (NDA) gain an edge over the opposition parties in the upcoming Lok Sabha polls

However, the survey reported by Reuters, shows that while 22 per cent of Indian voters surveyed considered the Ayodhya Ram Mandir their "most liked action" of Prime Minister Narendra Modi's government, only 8 per cent considered this to be their primary concern. 

The Ram Mandir has been increasingly used by the BJP in their poll campaigns in the run-up to the Lok Sabha elections. PM Modi had recently attacked the opposition Congress party over the issue. "Ram devotees of the entire world have seen this arrogance of yours ... this is an election game for you," PM Modi said.

The Congress had refused to attend the Ayodhya Ram Mandir inauguration ceremony, saying that the event had been turned into a ‘political project’ of the saffron camp and that the consecration had been brought forward "for electoral gain". 

However, Prime Minister Modi hit out at the Congress and said that Ayodhya Ram Mandir was not beyond elections. He termed the religious temple as ‘a matter of faith for the people of the country’.

PM Modi was reacting to the Congress' allegation that the BJP used the Ram Mandir as a ‘poll plank’ ahead of the Lok Sabha polls 2024. "They say the Ram temple is an election issue for the BJP. It was never an election issue and will never be an election issue," the PM said.

Furthering his argument, PM Modi said that the Ram Mandir issue was over 500 years old. "It was an issue at a time when the British were yet to come. It is a 500-year-old matter when there was no thought of elections," he said. 

While on the one hand PM Modi talked about rising employment opportunities in the decade he governed India, the survey reported by Reuters mentioned that the unemployment rate in India rose to 5.4 per cent in 2022-23, from 4.9 per cent in 2013-14. 

According to official data, nearly 16 per cent of urban youth in the 15-29 years age group remained unemployed in 2022-23 due to poor skills and a lack of quality jobs.

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Published: 12 Apr 2024, 05:08 PM IST
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