Monday December 10, 2018
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BJP back to Ram Mandir issue after failures: Azam Khan

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Lucknow: Failure on all fronts forced the BJP to fall back on the Ram Mandir issue, Uttar Pradesh Urban Development Minister Mohd Azam Khan said on Tuesday.

He claimed that the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) was trying to foment trouble and disrupt communal harmony in the state ahead of the 2017 Uttar Pradesh assembly polls, adding that the state government will maintain peace at all costs.

“The issue of Ram Mandir-Babri Masjid in Ayodhya is before the Supreme Court and all stakeholders should wait for its verdict,” Khan said in Rampur, his legislative constituency.

Any attempt to disturb the peace by raking up the contentious issue again will harm the secular fabric of the nation, the minister warned.

Asked for the state government’s response to reports that truckloads of stones had arrived from Rajasthan for building the Ram temple, the senior Samajwadi Party leader maintained that the Uttar Pradesh government will discharge its duties.

In August, the Supreme Court allowed repair of covers and provision of other facilities at the makeshift Ram Lalla temple at the disputed site in Uttar Pradesh’s Ayodhya town. (IANS)

In September 2010, the Supreme Court had given a ruling to keep the status of the place, same.(IANS)

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India Begins Its Election Season With Five States

The BJP has sent top leaders to campaign in Chhattisgarh.

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India began on Monday the first of five state elections to be held in coming weeks, important tests for Prime Minister Narendra Modi as he plots a course that he hopes will ensure him victory in a general election due by May.

Voters in the central state of Chhattisgarh went to the polls on Monday to elect representatives for 18 of the state assembly’s 90 seats in a staggered poll complicated by logistical problems and left-wing guerrillas.

The state of about 26 million people has been ruled by Modi’s Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) since 2003, and he will be hoping to hold on to power.

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“Some unholy people have handed guns to children who should have pens in their hands,” Modi told a rally in the state on Friday, referring to the rag-tag guerrillas battling government forces from forest hideouts. “They’ve finished the lives of our tribal children.”

Hundreds of election workers had to be flown in to remote polling stations by helicopter because of the danger posed by the rebels.

Modi called for voters to back his BJP and its vision of “development for all.”

The final phase of voting in Chhattisgarh, which is known for its coal, iron ore and bauxite reserves, will be on Nov. 20.

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The BJP was the preference of about 43 percent of voters in Chhattisgarh, 7 percentage points ahead of the main opposition Congress party, according to a survey released last week by the Lokniti-Centre for the Study of Developing Societies.

Modi’s other big tests will be in the neighboring central state of Madhya Pradesh, where the BJP is slightly ahead of Congress, according to polls, and in the northwestern state of Rajasthan, where Congress is expected to emerge victorious.

A good performance by the BJP in the elections would help it deflect growing criticism over unemployment and a crisis in the countryside over falling farm prices and wages.

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Elections will also be held for assemblies in Telangana in the south and Mizoram in the northeast.

The BJP has sent top leaders to campaign in Chhattisgarh, including Yogi Adityanath, a firebrand Hindu priest and the BJP chief minister in Uttar Pradesh state.

Also Read: PM Narendra Modi Announces Easier Access to Credit

Adityanath has been appealing to the BJP’s Hindu-nationalist base and on Sunday accused the opposition of blocking construction of a temple for Hindu god Ram on a disputed site in Uttar Pradesh.

The destruction of a mosque on the site by a Hindu mob in 1992 sparked deadly riots across the country. (VOA)