Ram Tem­ple a Mat­ter of Faith, Not Poll Is­sue

The Economic Times - - Pure Politics -

BJP pres­i­dent Amit Shah has an­nounced Ke­shav Prasad Mau­rya, the first BJP Lok Sabha MP from Phulpur — Jawa­har Lal Nehru’s con­stituency — as the chief of the party’s Ut­tar Pradesh unit. A whole-timer with Vishva Hindu Par­ishad (VHP), Mau­rya has par­tic­i­pated in the Ram Tem­ple ag­i­ta­tion and also been proac­tive in cow-pro­tec­tion ac­tiv­i­ties in the state. Mau­rya tells Rav­ish Ti­wari that there should be a Ram Tem­ple in Ay­o­d­hya, but added that BJP will move on this is­sue ac­cord­ing to its elec­tion man­i­festo of 2014. Ex­cerpts:

There were sev­eral other con­tenders for this post; don’t you think your se­lec­tion would cre­ate a heart­burn among some of them who are se­nior to you in the state unit? This doesn’t hap­pen in the BJP. Every­one is a BJP worker. Ev­ery worker is a con­tender whether it is for a ticket to con­test elec­tions or some or­gan­i­sa­tional posts be­fore they are fi­nalised. But once a de­ci­sion is taken, ul­ti­mately every­one has to go by the de­ci­sion of the party. But, many of those con­tenders are se­nior to you in party or­gan­i­sa­tion... They re­main my se­niors. I will seek their co­op­er­a­tion and guid­ance. With their co­op­er­a­tion, my job is to get the BJP into the power af­ter 2017 UP elec­tions.

Do you en­vis­age a chief min­is­ter can­di­date for 2017 UP elec­tions? Right now it has been a de­ci­sion about BJP or­gan­i­sa­tion. I have been given the re­spon­si­bil­ity of BJP or­gan­i­sa­tion. It is for the (cen­tral) lead­er­ship to de­cide whom to make a CM can­di­date or not. But, BJP will get a clear ma­jor­ity and form the next gov­ern­ment in UP.

You have been as­so­ci­ated with the VHP. What is your cur­rent view on Ram Tem­ple? We wor­ship Lord Ram. A grand tem­ple must be built at Ram­jan­mab­humi. There are three av­enues avail­able for it: with con­sen­sus, or with court ver­dict, or with mu­tual con­sent, what­ever works. There should be a Ram Tem­ple.

You have been a Kar Se­vak dur­ing Ram Tem­ple ag­i­ta­tion, do you think

So, you think it will not be an is­sue dur­ing 2017 UP polls? No, I do not think so that this will be an is­sue. BJP’s po­si­tion on this is­sue is spelled out in our elec­tion man­i­festo (of 2014). We will go by our man­i­festo.

There are two main po­lit­i­cal op­po­nents for you in UP — Sa­ma­jwadi Party and Bahu­jan Sa­maj Party. Which of the two is a big­ger chal­lenge for you? I think that it is for them to de­cide. Both of them will have to con­test with the BJP. BJP will be ahead of them…

Their po­si­tion will be same as that was dur­ing 2014 Lok Sabha elec­tions. BJP will con­tinue its march with full strength.

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