AYODHYA: Ahead of UP poll in 2017, Prime Minister Narendra Modi is seems to be in a fix as Hindu leaders are pushing for the construction of Ram temple where the Babri mosque was destroyed by a mob in 1992.
The monk Nritya Gopal Das leading the Ayodhya temple campaign alongwith his supporters.
The elections early next year that could make or break Modi’s chances of gaining control of the Rajya Sabha.
Now the million dollar question arises is ‘do the prime minister continue to push through his economic reform agenda? Which firebrands within his religious base do not always agree with?
The UP elections is a prestige issue for the Narendra Modi-Amit Shah jodi after a loss in the Hindi heartland of Bihar. Mayawati is eager to make a comeback, Akhilesh Yadav is slogging hard to retain his chair. The results will chart the direction of Indian politics in the years to come.
Though the prime minister’s office has said it wants the temple issue kept completely out of electioneering.
Ayodhya is becoming a defining test of Modi’s ability to navigate a tension central to his administration.
The call to build the Ram temple is a core tenet of the Hindu right. The BJP’s manifesto says it is committed to “explore all possibilities within the framework of the constitution” to make that happen.
As Modi heads to the halfway point of his term in office, Hindu activist groups who helped elect him in 2014, including the ideological parent organization of the BJP, are pushing for him to deliver.
Now the challenge lies in front of PM Modi is to appease Hindu activists who corral votes for his Party, while preventing them from derailing his pro-business growth agenda.
Modi’s success or failure will go a long way to defining his legacy.
Muslims, accounting for 18-19 per cent of the state population, have influence in 73 seats (which cover more than 30 per cent of the state’s population). They have traditionally backed the Samajwadi Party (SP). 54 per cent of Muslims voted for the Samajwadi Party in the 2002 Assembly elections. It fell to 30 per cent in the 2009 Lok Sabha elections and again rose to 58 per cent in the 2014 Lok Sabha elections.
Unhappy with Samajwadi Party’s handling of Muzaffarnagar and Dadri issues
Muslims have been unhappy with SP’s handling of the Muzaffarnagar riots. The fact that the father-son duo of Mulayam and Akhilesh Yadav visited the riot-affected areas six months after the incident, and that too to seek votes for the Lok Sabha elections irked their hardcore supporters.
BJP want to break BSP?
Though opinion polls suggest Mayawati’s BSP is ahead, the main contest is between the BJP and BSP. Now the strategists suggest the BJP is looking BSP as the sole opposition in the UP elections.