UP elections: It would not be a cakewalk for BJP in Ayodhya this time

During the road show, as CM Yogi Adityanath's 'rath' passes through the main city roads, shopkeepers grumble over govt decision to demolish portion of their shops in the name of beautification of city

UP CM Yogi Adityanath (File photo)
UP CM Yogi Adityanath (File photo)

NH Correspondent/Lucknow

During the BJP's grand road show in Ayodhya, as the 'rath’ of Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath passes through the main city roads, shopkeepers grumble over the government decision to demolish a portion of their shops on the name of beautification of city.

“Why should I vote for BJP? I know if Yogi returns to power he will demolish our shops and ask us to leave. Where will we go now,” asks the shopkeeper who refuses to give his name fearing repercussion from the administration and the Yogi government.

But, one thing he was was sure about, that he will not vote for BJP, though for the last three elections he had voted for the Bharatiya Janata Party.

Around half a dozen shopkeepers who were standing there, nodded their heads in unison.

The reaction of the shopkeepers and small traders in Ayodhya, the city which is the fulcrum of BJP’s Hindutava politics, is unexpected. For an outsider, it seems very likely that BJP will sweep Ayodhya and the construction of Ram Temple will also impact party’s political position in neighbouring districts.

“Aisa nahi hai (It is not like that). Employment and development comes first and then the Ram temple. We have Ram ji at our Pujasthal in our houses. We can worship Lord Ram there too. But what we will offer Him in bhog if we do not have employment,” asks Gyanendra Sharma, 27, a graduate from a private university.

“I am not sure whether I will vote for BJP or not, but one thing is sure that ground is shrinking for BJP,” he said.

For BJP, Lord Ram is the only political issue and Chief Minister’s speech revolves around it. “Could Congress construct Ayodhya's Ram Temple? Could BSP do it? Could 'babua' do it? Will those, who opened fire at Ram bhakts, build it? Will those, who locked Ram Temple, build it? Who is building it? The double engine government of BJP,” he said in an election rally.

He adds Ram Rajya to his speech when he said: “Samajwadi Party is with terrorists. They don't want the state to develop. BJP's double engine government is working to establish a 'Ram Rajya'.”

Yogi said ‘Ram Rajya’ is the true example of good governance. “It is a state where there is no discrimination. Connecting the poor with welfare schemes of the government and guaranteeing security is also Ram Rajya, PM Modi at the Centre, and all BJP ruling states are making sincere efforts in this direction” he said.

The people of Ayodyha do not agree with Yogi on the issue of Ram Rajya. “The Ram Rajya means everyone should be happy and should prosper. Did that happen? On the name of development people are being harassed. They are being deprived of their livelihood. Is this Ram Rajya,” asks a trader.

“This time, it will not be a cake walk for BJP in Ayodhya. The party will face the anger of the people and will face a considerable damage in the elections,” he added.

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