Last week the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) had played a spot of hide and seek with the Ram temple issue by mentioning it in the party manifesto and then tucking it under a pile of freebies, but on Saturday, veteran leader Lal Krishna Advani publicly reiterated his commitment to the temple cause.
Addressing an election meetings in Faizabad, 120 km south-east of Lucknow, the octogenarian leader said, “The aim of my public life will be achieved the day a grand temple is constructed at the place where the idol of Lord Ram is placed.”
Faizabad City is part of the Ayodhya constituency that goes to polls on February 8 in the first phase of the seven-phase state assembly elections.
“The construction of Ram temple without any confrontation and struggle is possible… Hindus and Muslims leaders should sit together to work out a formula for resolving the issue,” said Advani.
After the public meeting, Advani went to Ayodhya to pay obeisance to Ram Lala at the disputed site. The last time he visited Ayodya was in 2007.
At another meeting in Deoria district, 284 km from Lucknow, he accused the Congress of resorting to vote bank politics over the 4.5% sub-quota announced for the minorities, and said the party was to blame for the plight of Muslims in India. “If the BJP is voted to power, it will give equal importance to all communities,” he promised.Referring to his rath yatra for the Ram temple, Advani said he had learnt a lot from it. "Advani has done nothing for Ayodhya but Ayodhya has done a lot for me. It has taught me Rashtradharma. Rath yatra is the best option to awaken the country on any issue."