hile Rahul Gandhi is launching new attacks on the Modi government’s involvement in the Rafale scam, on the other hand, the Sangh is also threatening a 1992-like agitation if Ram Mandir is not built, the question that remains – Will it be Ram Mandir vs Rafale in 2019? Recently, BJP lost in Hindu heartland with four states gone out of their hands. Congress made a good comeback with aggressive attacks on Modi over Rafale scam, on the other hand people have realised that Lord Rama makes news for the election campaign and gets ignored for another five years. The Ayodhya Ram Mandir issue is currently ongoing in the Supreme Court. Only after judgement is passed in the favour of the Ram Mandir, can the present status quo be changed. BJP still do not have a majority in Rajya Sabha. The matter is in the court and Allahabad HC has confirmed that it is Lord Ram’s birthplace but instead of restoring the title of the land to rightful owner, divided it into three parts and awarded those to all three litigants, which is perilous. Central government, under PV Narasimha Rao, gave an affidavit to return the land taken over, around the disputed site acquired by VHP for building the temple, back if it’s proved that temple existed where the “Babri” masjid stood.
However badly one might support BJP, it should be acknowledged that this issue is something where it is clearly playing hardcore politics. The party has an absolute majority in the Lok Sabha and the same in the UP State Assembly. It can easily draft a constitutional amendment or a bill to override the Supreme Court and do the needful. The question of Rajya Sabha is also simple; they will always find people to support it. Once the procedure starts, any party opposing the bill will leave itself highly vulnerable in the hands of the majority.
We all know how the Ram Mandir issue is used as a “Trump Card”. Imagine that by some means, BJP is in quite a bad shape for 2019 polls. If it brings out the legislation at a critical time, it will be a big win-win situation. If the bill gets stalled in Rajya Sabha, the Congress will be thrashed to the core for being anti-Hindu and if it passes, BJP will make itself extremely strong as the saviour of the Hindu majority. If it’s a worst-case scenario for the BJP with no chance to play the hero card, then, things will be pretty clean. If there’s no decision by the SC and the case be still running in 2019, the NDA will win the Lok Sabha for sure. The BJP would be bound to bring a legislation to make the temple. The bill gets passed, the temple is made, and BJP becomes a hero. But the possibilities are rare as this is the only issue that can fetch them some votes in every election. It is high time that Ram Mandir should be built. It is not the only important issue for them (and Hindus) both culturally and ideologically. It is not some temple at the end of the street but a fight for the Birthplace of Ram. And this issue is no illusion. Imagine a church being built by the Christian crusaders by demolishing the Mecca Masjid. As soon as the Muslims get back in power, they would have demolished it and tried to build an even grander Masjid. But here, even after 70 years of independence and Muslims getting their separate country, no Mandir has been made. The legal battle for Ayodhya has been ongoing since the times of the British. Soon, the Supreme Court may give a day-to-day hearing. If the Muslim and Hindu communities agree for a Ram Mandir, BJP should search for something that breaks this mutual understanding.
BJP and Congress or even any other secular parties will not be interested in solving the Ram Janmabhoomi – Babri Masjid issue. Solved topics never bring votes to the party. Ram Janmabhoomi may bring votes to BJP if the construction started before the 2019 elections. But if it is unsolved, even the promise to build will also bring votes. Everyone knows that Babri Masjid can be shifted to any nearby site because no rituals are taking place in the Masjid and Ram Temple can be built in the disputed site. But no one wants to solve the problem. We can have an amicable solution to this prolonged dispute if our Netas are genuinely interested. Hence, whatever it might be the case, BJP doesn’t want to lose its biggest agenda in its manifesto for the 2019 election. After 2019 elections, the points which indicate this possibility are: if the Supreme Court’s decision will come after 2019 due to some speed breakers in hearing and the BJP wins the general elections 2019 then after the Supreme Court’s order, they will have to take steps for constructing the Ram Mandir and also due to the pressure of Hindus, they will have no excuse for not building the Ram Mandir.
If the Supreme Court’s decision comes after 2019 and the Congress wins the elections they can also take steps in the favour of Ram Mandir but then the chances of their building the Ram Mandir will be very low because firstly, Congress is the party which claims to be secular. Ram temple is a big debate and we don’t know what’s written in Lord Rama’s fate. Is he going to get the shelter or he will be still in transit camp? Meanwhile, Rafale scam is yet to settle, no matter courts have refrained from interfering but opposition came up with awkward questions for BJP.
These two “R” factors – Ram and Rafale are going to be the challenges for BJP in 2019, so let’s see how opposition takes advantage of these issues and how BJP retains power in spite of all the odds and attacks!
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