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Locals confused as PM Modi gives mandir a miss

Locals, including shopkeepers at the Hanumangarhi, say “maybe the PM does not want to mix politics with the Ram Temple issue” and hence was maintaining a distance.

, ET Bureau|
Updated: May 01, 2019, 10.36 AM IST
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PM Modi to address rally in Ambedkar Nagar, gives mandir a miss
PM Modi to address rally in Ambedkar Nagar, gives mandir a miss
AYODHYA: Prime Minister Narendra Modi will pay his first visit as PM to Ayodhya district on Wednesday for an election rally but won’t go to the temple town or its famous religious sites such as the Hanumangarhi temple or the makeshift Ram Temple, making locals wonder and ask: ‘Ayodhya se Modi ki doori kyun?’ (Why is Modi keeping away from Ayodhya?) “Ayodhya temples are not far from the rally spot. But the PM is not coming here. Even Rahul Gandhi and Priyanka Gandhi came to Hanumangarhi temple. I think Modi wants to come to Ayodhya only after a favourable order comes from the Supreme Court on the Ram Temple after the elections.

“We would want him to lay the foundation stone of the temple -- I have already told chief minister Yogi Adityanath to appeal to Modi to do so,” Mahant Dharam Das of Nirwani Akhara and the main litigant in the Ram Janambhoomi case told ET. Mahant Ram Das of the Naka Hanumangarhi in Faizabad said Modi should have come to Ayodhya town. “That may have been a reassuring message on the Ram Temple issue,” Ram Das said.

The venue of Modi’s Wednesday rally is Rampur Maya, a small town on the border of Ayodhya-Ambedkar Nagar district, is just 25 km from Ayodhya.

The rally will be for the BJP candidates from Faizabad and Ambedkar Nagar.

Rahul Gandhi and Priyanka Gandhi had been to Ayodhya in 2017 elections and earlier this month too, and both had visited the Hanumangarhi temple here while choosing to stay away from the disputed site.

The Gandhis said they would not visit the makeshift Ram Temple as the matter was sub judice. But the fact that Modi has not even visited Hanumangarhi in the past five years is something that has both seers and locals perplexed.

Locals, including shopkeepers at the Hanumangarhi, say “maybe the PM does not want to mix politics with the Ram Temple issue” and hence was maintaining a distance.

“However, the fact is that former PMs like Indira Gandhi had visited Hanumangarhi. The PM goes to Kashi Vishwanath and Kal Bhairav temples in Varanasi -- then why not visit here?” a group of shopkeepers at the Hanumangarhi temple said.

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