Lok Sabha elections 2019: ‘PM to skip makeshift Ram temple during Ayodhya visit’
Prime Minister Narendra Modi will skip the makeshift Ram temple and Hanuman Garhi temple on his maiden visit to Ayodhya as PM for an election rally on May 1, people familiar with the matter in the BJP said on Monday.
However, the Ram Janmabhoomi Nyas and the Vishwa Hindu Parishad said if the PM did not have time, they wanted BJP chief Amit Shah to offer prayers at the makeshift Ram temple in Ayodhya and at Hanuman Garhi before Ayodhya (Faizabad) goes to polls in the fifth phase on May 6.
Modi had addressed an election rally in Ayodhya in 2014 also as the BJP’s prime ministerial candidate but he did not visit the makeshift Ram temple at the disputed site.
“Amit Shahji had offered prayers at the (makeshift) Ram Mandir when he came to Ayodhya for a party meeting after he was appointed national president of the party,” said Sharad Sharma, regional spokesperson, of the Vishwa Hindu Parishad.
“If he comes to Ayodhya again and he has time, then I am sure he will definitely visit (makeshift) Ram Mandir and Hanuman Garhi,” Sharma said.
Mahant Nritya Gopal Das, head of the Ram Janmabhoomi Nyas, said he wanted PM Modi to offer prayers at the makeshift Ram temple when he visits Ayodhya on May 1.
“If the prime minister seeks the blessings of Ram Lalla, then nothing could be more beneficial for him. It will also send a positive message across the country,” said Mahant Nritya Gopal Das.
The Nyas spearheaded the Ram temple movement across the country in the 1980s and the 1990s. “In case, PM Modi does not visit Ayodhya, then Amit Shah must visit Ram Mandir if he lands in Ayodhya before May 6,” he added.
The VHP has put the Ram temple issue on the back burner in this election.
“The Ram temple issue is in court. The Supreme Court appointed mediation process is going on. In such a scenario, we have decided not to raise the Ram Mandir issue,” said Sharma.