As BJP sticks to Ram, SP picks Vishnu, Cong Shiva for LS polls

Major parties divide Gods between them to appease Hindu majority in UP.

Lucknow: The 2019 battle in Uttar Pradesh, it seems, will be contested between Ram, Vishnu and Shiva. Issues like development, unemployment, poverty have taken a back seat and the three major political parties in the state have divided the Gods between them.

The BJP will stick to Lord Ram, the Congress is pursuing Lord Shiva and the Samajwadi Party has developed a fascination for Lord Vishnu. The BJP is looking up to Lord Ram to take it to the winning post, once again, in the 2019 Lok Sabha elections.

The BJP, after insisting that it will contest the general elections on the development plan, has already started pushing the Ram temple issue through its fringe organisation and the saint community.

BJP MPs like Sakshi Maharaj claim that the construction of Ram temple will begin before 2019 and the saints like Dr. Ram Vilas Vedanti echo similar sentiments. The idea is to keep the Ram temple issue alive in the minds of voters and use it to advantage at the time of elections.

BJP spokesman Rakesh Tripathi said, “For the BJP, Ram temple is a matter of commitment and faith and not of politics or elections. It is interesting to find that parties that accused of being communal are now following the same temple path. They will stand exposed very soon.”

To counter the BJP’s game plan, Congress president Rahul Gandhi has also started projecting himself as a Shiva Bhakt. After his Mansarovar y-atra, posters of Mr Gandhi showing him as a Shiva Bhakt have appeared in various districts of Uttar Pradesh.

Mr Gandhi is determined to prove that he is a worshipper of Lord Shiva who will now be the focus of the soft Hindutva plank of the Congress in the upcoming elections.

During his visit to Amethi this week, Mr Gandhi was felicitated by ‘kanwariyas’ (Shiva devotees) and chants of ‘Bam Bam Bhole’ rent the air at his meetings.

Congress spokesman Surendra Rajput explai-ned that, “This trend is fallout of the BJP’s push to communal politics. If PM Modi can visit a mosque in Indore for the sake of votes, he should not point fingers at others who visit temples. As for the posters of Mr Gandhi, they have been put up by supporters and not by the Congress”.

The SP, which has always projected its minority friendly image, has also opted for a makeover. SP president Akhilesh Yadav recently announced that when he returned to power in the state, he would build a grand Vishnu temple complex on the pattern of Angkor Vat temple in Cambodia. He said that the proposed temple would be built on a 2,000 acre land near Etawah.

Maharaj Chakrapani of Akhil Bhartiya Hindu Mahasabha said that parties that had followed the policy of minority appeas-ement for decades had now started realising that unless they reached out to the Hindu majority, they would be marginalised. “This is a welcome sign,” he said.

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