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Vikas Alone Will Not Ensure Victory in 2019, Says BJP Leader in Pitch for Ram Temple

Subsequent defeats in crucial Lok Sabha bypolls, starting with Gorakhpur and Phulpur in March and in Kairana a few days ago, has set alarm bells ringing within the BJP in Uttar Pradesh.

Pranshu Mishra | CNN-News18

Updated:June 5, 2018, 11:47 PM IST
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Vikas Alone Will Not Ensure Victory in 2019, Says BJP Leader in Pitch for Ram Temple
A file picture of BJP leader Vinay Katiyar.
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Lucknow: Just a day after minority affairs minister Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi made a strong pitch for making development or ‘Vikas’ BJP’s key electoral issue in 2019 elections, senior party leader Vinay Katiyar has mocked the idea.

Speaking to News18, the party's face of Ram Temple movement and former Rajya Sabha MP, Katiyar said, “Vikas alone will not help BJP win the election. The emphasis needs to be brought back on Ram temple.”

Subsequent defeats in crucial Lok Sabha bypolls, starting with Gorakhpur and Phulpur in March and in Kairana a few days ago, has set alarm bells ringing within the BJP in Uttar Pradesh.

On Monday, BJP ally and UP cabinet minister Om Prakash Rajbhar had openly questioned BJP's politics of social engineering and held it responsible for the defeat.

Taking the cue, Katiyar raised serious questions about his party's leadership, including Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

“It’s not just the issue of party workers being ignored, although this which has led to large-scale resentment. It is also because party and government had almost ignored the issue of Ram Temple in Ayodhya,” he said.

Questioning Modi government's development push, Katiyar said, “Vikas also happened during Atal Bihari Vajpyee's government, but party didn't come back to power in 2004 because temple issue was ignored.”

He further said, “It’s high time the Modi government should be seen being serious about paving the way for Ram temple in Ayodhya, or else victory in 2019 will a challenge.”

Katiyar also took a jibe at PM Modi, saying “visiting mosques in other countries will not help, focus should be on removing difficulties in path of Ram Temple.” He was referring to the PM’s recent visit to southeast Asian countries, during which he paid visits to mosques, a fact that was dubbed by Akhilesh Yadav as minority appeasement.

The chief priest of the Ram Janambhoomi Temple, Acharya Satyendra Das, also expressed his displeasure over Naqvi’s statement that development would be the sole poll plank.

“The BJP has cheated Lord Ram in a way. They came to power in the name of Lord Ram and then forgot him. If the BJP wants to win 2019 Lok Sabha Elections, it should start the construction of Ram Temple, else it will be difficult for them.”
| Edited by: Ahona Sengupta
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