Differences in BJP over temple as UP poll issue

As the saffron outfits stepped up pressure on the BJP over construction of a Ram temple in Ayodhya, sharp differences have surfaced within the party on whether to continue to cling to the issue.

Newly appointed Uttar Pradesh BJP president Keshav Prasad Maurya found himself at odds with senior party leader and union minister Kalraj Mishra on his remarks that the Ram temple was ''never on the electoral agenda'' of the party.

Mishra said that BJP was “committed” to the Ram temple construction. ''Development will be our plank in the forthcoming UP assembly polls....as far as Ram temple is concerned...it has always been on top of our priority'', he said recently.

State BJP leaders had then too expressed surprise over Maurya's remarks and said that it could send a 'wrong signal' to the cadre.

In fact, Maurya was under so much pressure from a section of the party as well as the saint community that he visited the temple town of Ayodhya a few days back and declared that the BJP had not ''abandoned'' the issue.

The saffron outfits and a section of the VHP have been pressing the BJP for enactment of a law by Parliament to pave the way for a temple.

The recent ‘Dharam Sansad’ (religious parliament) at the ongoing ‘Kumbha’ at Ujjain has declared that the temple construction will start from November 9 this year.

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