With an eye on the Lok Sabha elections, BJP on Saturday raked up the Ayodhya Ram temple issue in a bid to boost the party's morale in Uttar Pradesh where good performance in the past had helped it capture power at the Centre.
Amit Shah, a close confidant of Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi, made his first visit to the make-shift Ram temple here after he took over as BJP General Secretary In-charge of UP recently.
"I came to visit the Ram temple which is a centre of faith for crores of Hindus from around the world. After worshipping here I have prayed that good governance is established in the country and the nation gets rid of the Congress," Shah told reporters.
The Ram temple issue has helped the party boost its electoral prospects in the past and Shah's visit appears to be an attempt to raise this issue again in the coming elections.
"I have also prayed that we together build a grand Ram temple here as soon as possible and restore Lord Ram to his rightful place," Shah said.
Under Modi as BJP Election Campaign Committee Chief, the party wants to recapture its old base in Uttar Pradesh which is crucial for the party to form a government at the Centre. The state has 80 Lok Sabha constituencies and BJP is eyeing around 40 seats where it can put up a good fight in the polls, sources said.
Shah evaded questions on the CBI charge sheet in the Ishrat Jahan "fake" encounter case. There are reports that Shah, who was state minister of Home in Gujarat when the encounter took place, may be named in a subsequent charge sheet.