Near Ayodhya, Modi avoids Ram Temple

Prime Minister Narendra Modi speak at Kaushambi in Uttar Pradesh. (Twitter/BJP)

Prime minister Narendra Modi refrained from mentioning the Ram Temple in his much-awaited election rally barely a few kilometres away from the temple town of Ayodhya on Wednesday.

Although Modi began and ended his speech with the slogan 'Jai Shriram', not even once did he refer to the contentious Ram Temple issue during his speech at Mayabazar in Ayodhya.

The prime minister, however, did speak about the measures initiated by the centre and the state governments to develop Ayodhya as a model town with top class facilities for the pilgrims.

He also said that the government was working on the 'Ramayan Circuit' under which religious places from Ayodhya to Rameshwaram were being developed.

Modi accused his political rivals of being ''soft'' on terror during their rule and said that no terror attacks had taken place in Ayodhya and Faizabad since his government assumed office.

''Before 2014, the situation in the country was much like Sri Lanka...explosions used to take place....terror factories are being run in our neighbourhood...the terrorists are waiting for a weak government in the country so that they can strike,'' he said.

Failure to mention the Ram Temple in his speech did not go down well with the saint community in Ayodhya. The seers also expressed disappointment over Modi's failure to visit the makeshift Ram Temple.

''The prime minister came here for campaigning....he should have tried to resolve the Ram Temple issue during his tenure....it is unfortunate that Ram Temple is yet to be built,'' said Satyendra Das, the chief priest at the makeshift Ram Temple.

The seers of Ayodhya, as well as the BJP, had slammed Congress general secretary Priyanka Gandhi Vadra for avoiding the makeshift Ram Temple during her visit to Ayodhya a few days back.

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