The BJP’s saffron brigade is all set to raise the pitch on the Ayodhya Ram temple issue in preparation of launching Gujarat chief minister Narendra Modi as its electoral mascot in politically the most crucial state of Uttar Pradesh this month itself.
BJP insiders say since the party expects the Lok Sabha election to be held by the end of this year, Modi could visit Ayodhya as early as on Thursday. This visit, the sources say, would be adequately hyped up to demonstrate the saffron party’s commitment for a grand Ram temple in Ayodhya in a bid to consolidate the majority vote.
Modi has been invited to attend the Amrit Mahotsav organised by prominent mahants of Ayodhya from June 18 to 22. The celebration marks the completion of Mahant Nrityagopal Das’ completion of 50 years as the mahant of the Maniram Das Chhaoni of Ayodhya.
Besides, Das, who is also president of the Ram Janmabhoomi Nyas and one of the most prominent leaders of the Ram temple movement, would turn 75 on this occasion.
Modi’s presence at this religious congregation would be significant as prominent sants-mahants from across the country, including Baba Ramdev and Vasudevanand Saraswati, and top VHP leaders including Ashok Singhal and Praveen Togadia would also be present. Top BJP leaders including BJP chief Rajnath Singh and Madhya Pradesh chief minister Shivraj Chauhan, are also expected to be there.
Sources reveal that with the objective of stoking the embers of the Ram temple issue, the saffron brigade is organising a yatra of prominent sant-mahants from August 25. This yatra would start from Basti in east UP and wind its way through several districts to reach Ayodhya on September 13. On the way, the sant-mahants would mobilise opinion among the majority community for building a grand Ram temple in Ayodhya. The Hindu priests would also assert that no mosque within the perimeter of the disputed shrine would be acceptable, the sources say.
Meanwhile, the BJP is preparing for a big show of strength in UP. The party has organised a jail bharo agitation on June 26, 28 and 30. Thousands of party workers and leaders, including Rajnath Singh and UP incharge Amit Shah, will court arrest in protest against the “anti-people” policies of the state and the Union governments, BJP spokesman Vijay Pathak informed.