With Uttar Pradesh scheduled to go for polls in 2017, can the politics around Ayodhya be far away? In a clear repeat of 84 Kosi Yatra politics just before the 2012 elections, two trucks of stones arrived in the temple city on Sunday understandably to build ‘Ram Temple.’
This comes six months after Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP) announced its nationwide drive to collect stones for construction of Ram temple in Ayodhya,
“Two trucks of stones have been unloaded at Ram Sewak Puram, a VHP property in Ayodhya, and ‘Shila Pujan’ (praying of the stones) has been performed by Mahant Nritya Gopal Das, the president of Ram Janam Bhumi Nyas,” VHP spokesman Sharad Sharma was quoted by PTI.
Mahant Nritya Gopal Das too said that there was a “signal” from the Modi government that the temple will be built ‘now.’
Reacting to the arrival of stones at VHP headquarters, Faizabad Senior Superintendent of Police Mohit Gupta said that the police was monitoring the situation.
“We are monitoring all the developments minutely. Stones have arrived and being kept in a private premises. Due to this development, if their was any breach in peace or communal harmony we will definitely take action,” he said.
Asserting its resolve to build the Ram temple, the VHP had in June announced a nationwide drive to collect stones for construction of the temple.
“About 2.25 lakhs cubic ft of stones are required for the construction of the Ram temple and about 1.25 lakh cubic ft of stones are ready at the VHP’s headquarter in Ayodhya. The rest one lakh cubic ft stones would be collected nationwide from Hindu devotees,” VHP leader Ashok Singhal, who died last month in Gurgaon, had said.
The announcement had met with a quick reaction from the administration, which had said that it would oppose the move as the matter was sub judice.
Principal Secretary (Home) Devashish Panda had said that the Uttar Pradesh government would not allow arrival of stones in Ayodhya for Ram Mandir.
“Since the matter is sub judice, the government will not allow starting of any new tradition regarding Ayodhya issue,” he had said.
The Bahujan Samaj Party supremo Mayawati, urged the state government to ensure that the VHP didn’t go ahead with anything that had the potential to cause communal tension.
She told reporters outside the parliament, “It’s the duty of SP government in UP to make sure that no communal incident takes place there (Ayodhya) and there is peace.”