Ayodhya: Ayodhya is set to be the focal point of the BJP’s campaign for the 2024 Lok Sabha elections.
The 2024 elections are perfectly timed with the completion of the Great Temple of Ram and the various development projects planned for the holy city will also be nearing completion by then.
Ayodhya will therefore be the perfect showcase for the achievements of the BJP – both in spiritual and developmental terms.
Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath, who has already positioned himself as a torchbearer of Hindutva, will no doubt tout Ayodhya as a major achievement.
“Ayodhya will have the much-promised temple by the time the general elections are held. Yogi Adityanath is pushing hard for all development projects and will introduce a new Ayodhya to the people. This will undoubtedly be our biggest and best ballot for the 2024 elections,” a senior BJP official said.
There is no doubt that with a highly fragmented opposition, the continued charisma of Modi and the Hindu attraction of Yogi Adityanath, the focus on Ayodhya will only add to the strength of the BJP in the general election.
According to a senior official, Yogi Adityanath has visited Ayodhya countless times over the past five and a half years and is well aware of the progress of development in the holy city.
It should be noted that former chief ministers including Mayawati, Mulayam Singh Yadav, Akhilesh Yadav and Congress leaders Rahul Gandhi and Priyanka Gandhi Vadra avoided visiting the Ram Temple because they feared it would send a wrong message to their non-Hindu constituents.
A senior official from the Chief Minister’s Secretariat said, “Yogi Adityanath has a keen personal interest in matters related to Ayodhya. The annual event “Deepotsav” has grown year by year and the renovation of the Ghats has given an ethereal look to Ayodhya. He reviews development work at Ayodhya at regular intervals and makes no excuses for shortcomings.
Yogi Adityanath’s deep connection with Ayodhya is understandable.
Located 137 kilometers east of Ayodhya, the Gorakhnath Math in Gorakhpur – now led by Yogi Adityanath – has been at the center of the Ram temple movement since British rule. He played a pivotal role in the Ayodhya movement under three mahants – Digvijay Nath, Avaidyanath and Yogi Adityanath.
Digvijay Nath, who became a mahant in 1935, not only made Cabot a center of right-wing political activity, but also became a leader of the temple movement.
After joining the Hindu Mahasabha in 1937, he started mobilizing the Hindu community for the Ram Temple in Ayodhya.
On the night of December 22-23, 1949, when the idol of Ram was placed in the then disputed structure, Digvijay Nath was present in Ayodhya. He motivated the volunteers to start the prayers.
Until his death in 1969, Digvijay Nath gave impetus to the Ram temple movement.
The next mahant, Avaidyanath, continued the movement for Ram’s temple. In 1984 he constituted the Shri Ram Janmabhoomi Mukti Yagya Samiti to bring together all Hindu organizations and sadhus associated with the Ram temple movement on one platform.
As a disciple of Avaidyanath, Yogi Adityanath started attending the meetings of the Shri Ram Janmabhoomi Mukti Yagya Samiti led by his Guru.
The task of organizing the meetings was given to the young Adityanath who proved himself by inviting sadhus, heads of various Hindu religious orders and scholars from all over the country.
Contentious issues such as the construction of the Ram temple in Ayodhya, the uniform civil code, the ban on the slaughter of cows and the anti-conversion campaign were high on the agenda of these meetings held in the east. from Uttar Pradesh.
Yogi Adityanath kept the temple issue alive in eastern UP by organizing Vishwa Hindu Mahasammelan and Virat Hindu Sangam in Gorakhpur and adjoining districts.
After being appointed chief minister on March 19, 2017, Yogi Adityanath declared Ayodhya a municipal corporation, changed the name of Faizabad to Ayodhya, and started projects to promote tourism and amenities for pilgrims.
With the ‘Deepotsav’ program in October 2017, Yogi Adityanath made it clear that Ayodhya would remain at the top of his political agenda.
The BJP, nationally, does not blatantly promote the Hindu agenda, but Yogi Adityanath does not hide his Hindu leanings and that is what makes him dear to his constituents. He pushes Ayodhya to the center of the political scene.