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Pankaj Saha | TNN | Lucknow | Dec 12, 2018:: The clamour for Ram temple construction in Ayodhya and Hindutva push by renaming Faizabad as Ayodhya and Allahabad as Prayagraj in the midst of high voltage campaign by BJP during assembly elections in poll-bound states could not override the anti-incumbency in Madhya Pradesh and Chhattisgarh nor could they beat the trend of Rajasthan effecting government change in elections.
The timing of Vishwa Hindu Parishad organising a Dharm Sabha in Ayodhya and then one in Delhi to demand enactment of a law for Ram Temple also coincided with the assembly elections in MP, Rajasthan and Chhattisgarh that have been saffron bastions but still could not ensure BJP victory.
In fact, RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat, himself pressed for a law for Ram Temple on at least three occasions since Dussehra.
The saffron leaders, however, said that the push to temple movement came after the Supreme Court adjourned hearing of the Ramjanmabhoomi-Babri Masjid title suit and had nothing to do with the elections.
VHP international vice president Champat Rai said that it is incorrect to relate ongoing Ram temple movement with elections. “It is a social movement that connects Hindus on an issue that has been lingering for years. People who think that the Ram temple movement will die down will be proven wrong. It is up to the political parties to see whether the issue impacts their political fortunes,” he said, while speaking to TOI, hours after election results from the five states started trickling in.
VHP sources said that the Ram temple issue would continue irrespective of recent or upcoming Lok Sabha elections.
Political experts, however, held that the Hindutva push by CM Yogi Adityanath, BJP’s star campaigner, and VHP’s push for Ram Temple were aimed at consolidating Hindu sub-castes from drifting away. “But the ‘excess’ of Hindutva only polarised voters to the advantage of Congress which was already harping on anti-incumbency factor against BJP,” said a political expert.
Political analyst J P Shukla said that if casteism aimed to divide people on caste basis then communal narrative tries to bring all Hindu sub-castes within one ambit. “And that is what BJP and the right wing outfits aim to do,” he said.
BJP MP Rakesh Sinha and Manoj Tewari have already announced that they would move private member bill for Ram Temple in the winter session of Parliament.