Earlier Bhagwat’s comments about reservation had cost the BJP dearly in Bihar assembly election and now he has raised the Ram temple issue.
RSS Chief Mohan Bhagwat’s comment about the construction of Ram Temple is only derailing Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s developmental agenda. After Bhagwat’s remarks questions are being raised about whether he wants BJP to revert back to its Hindutva agenda by sidelining development. Earlier Bhagwat’s comments about reservation had cost the BJP dearly as it had to suffer a major setback in the Bihar assembly election. Even though Modi and other leaders had clarified their stand on reservation but RJP leader Lalu Prasad Yadav gained political mileage by raising this issue during election campaigns.
PMO and senior BJP leaders had already expressed their displeasure about irresponsible comments being made by party leaders. Despite this many of them continue to make controversial statements thereby hurting the PM’s image. If leaders continue to make such statements then it might affect the saffron party’s performance in the upcoming West Bengal, Assam, Kerala and Tamil Nadu assembly election. The party will have to really pull up its socks if its needs to make any impact in these elections. Many leaders have already deviated from the development agenda and are busy issuing controversial statements.
The Shiv Sena had already cautioned the RSS to refrain from politicising the Ram Mandir issue. Shiv Sena leader Sanjay Raut, who was reacting to Mohan Bhagwat’s assertion that the Ram temple would be built at Ayodhya within his lifetime, asked the right wing organisation to announce the date for the same.
“We also want that the Ram temple should be constructed but they should give a definite timeframe for the same,” Raut said.
“The elections in Uttar Pradesh are approaching. If the Ram temple is made a political issue then the people won’t forgive us. The people should not be deceived on this matter,” he added.
On the other hand, Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar took a jibe at the BJP by saying that the party is not serious about constructing Ram Temple in Ayodhya. He also said that the party is only using the temple issue for garnering votes from people.
“They will talk of constructing the Ram Temple at the same site, but will not give dates. The BJP has only been trying to keep the issue alive. They don’t have “genuine respect for Ram,”Nitish Kumar said.
“They just want to exploit people’s feelings for Ram. The party has hardly made efforts to sort out the (temple) issue, but uses it for political reasons at intervals”, said the Bihar CM.
The BJP, meanwhile, evaded questions on Bhagwat’s comment. “I do not know,” was the first response of union minister Nirmala Sitharaman when asked to react to his remarks. She, however, added, “It is not a new statement. It has been said several times. BJP definitely believes Ram Temple should be built sometime.”