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Historically tied to Kaushalya & Shabari, C’garh warms up to Mandir message

Ayodhya : Prime Minister Narendra Modi after the Pran Pratishtha Ceremony at the Shri Ram Janmaboomi Temple in Ayodhya on Monday, Jan 22, 2024. (Photo: IANS/UP CMO)

The politics surrounding Ayodhya’s Ram temple is gaining momentum in Chhattisgarh, which is considered the birthplace of Lord Ram’s mother Kaushalya.

Apart from being the maternal home of Lord Ram, the tribal state is also associated with Shabari.

The BJP, which recently came to power after winning the Assembly elections, is eyeing the 11 Lok Sabha seats of the state. At present, nine seats are held by the saffron party while two are with the Congress.

Now, with the Lok Sabha elections drawing closer, the BJP is targeting to win all 11 parliamentary seats in the state.

Ahead of the elections, the ‘Pran Pratishtha’ of Ram Lalla in the Ayodhya temple seems to have a deep impact on the politics of the state.

Considering the close bond that the state shares with Lord Ram, the previous Congress government led by Bhupesh Baghel proposed the development of the ‘Ram Van Gaman Path’, work was done on it and statues of Lord Ram were also installed.

Now, the ruling BJP, along with the development of the Ram Van Gaman Path, is also emphasizing on the development of other places associated with Lord Ram.

The Vishnu Deo Sai-led BJP government had sent rice grain and vegetables to Ayodhya on the occasion of the ‘Pran Pratishtha’ ceremony, which were offered as prasad there. A team of doctors was also sent to Ayodhya.

Apart from this, a team of 60 workers has been recently sent from the state capital Raipur to Ayodhya to serve the Ram devotees for 60 days. The team will organise ‘Bhandara’ for 60 days in Ayodhya.

In the Republic Day function on Friday, Chief Minister Sai, while mentioning the relationship between Lord Ram and Chhattisgarh, said that “unwavering devotion towards Lord Ram is our identity and we follow Raghukul’s tradition – thus the promises made are being fulfilled”.

The BJP even fiercely attacked the Congress for “refusing to attend the Pran Pratishtha ceremony”, claiming that the grand old party has been opposing the temple at Ram Janmabhoomi since the beginning.

On the other hand, Congress has been accusing the BJP of doing politics in the name of the Ram temple.

Chhattisgarh Congress President Deepak Baij said that the BJP has “always been doing politics in the name of Lord Ram and asking for votes but the Congress never did politics in the name of Lord Ram”.

“Lord Ram is associated with our faith, he is in our hearts. Even Shankaracharya opposed the consecration of Ram temple but his words were also ignored. This is an insult to religious gurus,” he said.

Political analysts in the state believe that in the Lok Sabha elections, the BJP, besides counting on Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s face and his welfare schemes, will not lag behind in making the Ram temple a key poll issue.

They say that when there was a Congress government in the state, it also left no stone unturned in the development of places related to Lord Ram, but it lagged behind in publicizing them.

Now as the Ram temple has been inaugurated, the BJP is actively trying to an atmosphere in its favor in view of the elections.

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