All In The Name Of Ram
India Today|November 22, 2021
The fifth edition of the ‘Deepotsav’, organised in Ayodhya on the occasion of Chhoti Deepavali, also had Uttar Pradesh chief minister Yogi Adityanath issuing the clarion call for the 2022 assembly election from the stage.
Ashish Misra

His words dispelled all doubt that the BJP campaign will have a keen Hindutva edge. Referring to an incident from November 2, 1990, when the Ram Janmabhoomi movement was at its peak and the police had fired on karsevaks after clashes in Ayodhya, he took a dig at the then chief minister and Samajwadi Party (SP) patriarch Mulayam Singh Yadav: “The day is not far when he will stand in line along with his family for a karseva at the Ram temple being built in Ayodhya. Next time, when the karseva is held, not bullets but flowers will be showered on the devotees of Ram.”

Indeed, the Ram mandir in Ayodhya has been top of the mind for every political party in Uttar Pradesh. Even wannabes planning a first foray into the heartland have not escaped the spell. In national capital Delhi, the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) government, led by Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal, held Diwali celebrations on November 4, a day after the Deepotsav celebrations in Ayodhya. Kejriwal, along with deputy Manish Sisodia and other cabinet ministers, was present at the Thyagaraj stadium in the capital where a 30 ft-high replica of the Ram temple had been erected as part of the celebrations. It’s no surprise that the Ram temple in Ayodhya is making a symbolic appearance in Delhi, for AAP is planning to contest the assembly elections in UP and Punjab in 2022. The party had also organised a ‘Tiranga sankalp yatra’ in Ayodhya on September 14, which was flagged off by Sisodia. Kejriwal too visited Ayodhya on October 25. After the mandatory tour of the temple complex site, he announced that the Delhi government will arrange free transport for all pilgrims from the national capital to Ayodhya. The AAP also tried to put the ruling BJP in the dock over the “hundreds of crores” collected in the name of the Ram temple.

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