After ‘Ganga Yatra’ from Allahabad to Varanasi, Congress general secretary Priyanka Gandhi is likely to launch her party’s campaign for Lok Sabha elections 2019 in BJP’s ‘temple turf’ Ayodhya. According to reports, the Congress leader will start her Ayodhya visit with a special Pooja (prayer) at Hanuman Garhi temple. Her itinerary includes a round of corner meetings and road shows in Ayodhya and Faizabad.
“Yes, Priyanka Gandhi Vadra will reach Ayodhya on Wednesday morning. She may have ‘darshan’ at the Hanuman Garhi temple and some other temples in Ayodhya. She will hold corner meetings and a road show during her day-long visit to the constituency,” The Hindustan Times quoted Ayodhya City Congress Committee president RP Singh as saying.
The BJP has been using Ayodhya as its political turf since the 90s when LK Advani carried out a “Rath Yatra” to build Ram Temple. The demolition of Babri mosque by right-wing extremists made the temple town more politically sensitive. The visit of Priyanka Gandhi is also significant given the fact that the BJP is trying to suppress the Ram Temple issue with nationalism.
In its 2014 manifesto, the BJP had promised to build a grand Ram Temple in Ayodhya but failed to do so and the issue is still being heard by the Supreme Court. Also, Prime Minister Narendra Modi himself ruled out the option of an Ordinance to construct the Ram Temple.
Priyanka, who has been given the task to revive Congress party's fortune in Uttar Pradesh, has been on an offensive against PM Modi and the state government over a host of issues, including piling dues of sugarcane farmers and most recently the "Shiksha Mitra" (Para-teachers).
"The hard work of shiksha mitra in Uttar Pradesh has been insulted. Many affected have committed suicide. Those who protested on road, were lathicharged, NSA was imposed on them. BJP leaders are busy in T-shirt marketing. Wish they would focus on the needy as well," she said on Monday.
Earlier, the Congress leader had carried out a three-day long 'Ganga Yatra' from Allahabad. The visit, which was started with prayers at Bade Hanuman Ji Temple near Sangam, concluded on Wednesday after she reached Varanasi – parliamentary constituency of Prime Minister Narendra Modi.