The BJP is gearing up to use the Ram temple bhoomipujan at Ayodhya to regain lost ground in 183 Assembly constituencies won by the Congress, NCP and Shiv Sena in the 2019 Maharashtra Assembly elections.
The state Assembly has a total strength of 288 seats. In the last elections, the BJP won 105 seats, Shiv Sena 56 seats, Congress 44 seats and NCP 54 seats. The remaining 29 seats comprise candidates from smaller parties and independents. Of these 29 seats, the Maha Vikas Aghadi — coalition of Congress, NCP and Shiv Sena — has support from 15 MLAs while 14 members are inclined towards the BJP.
The directive to the state BJP from its top leaders is to make the bhoomipujan event an occasion for grand celebrations, sources said. Party karyakartas have been asked to go for maximum outreach. And the local party leadership and MLAs have been told to ensure every household celebrates the event.
National BJP president J P Nadda recently exhorted the state unit to expand the organisation so that it can contest all 288 Assembly seats in the next polls.
Former chief minister and Opposition leader Devendra Fadnavis said, “Ram temple at Ayodhya is sacrosanct. It is a matter of faith for crores of people. It cannot be perceived through narrow prism of politics or other prejudices. The BJP’s decision to celebrate the bhoomipujan is to show a sense of participation as people cannot personally attend the ceremony at Ayodhya due to Covid-19.”
“Moreover, Ram temple is a wish accomplished after 550 years and people are witnessing a historic movement. Therefore, it holds special significance to Hindus and also non-Hindus who revere Lord Ram,” he said.
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