On the last day of campaign for the first phase of elections in Chhattisgarh, the Sangh Parivar leadership upped the ante on the Ram temple issue. Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath, while campaigning for his party, said the Congress was proving to be an obstacle in the construction of the Ram temple in Ayodhya. BJP Chief Amit Shah, who released the party’s manifesto for Chhattisgarh polls along with Chief Minister Raman Singh, accused the Congress of being sympathetic to Naxalites.
In New Delhi, Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP) Acting chief Alok Kumar said the first phase of the outfit’s movement to have an ordinance or a Bill for early construction of Ram temple was complete, as it has sent memorandums to all governors to make a law in Parliament. The VHP chief said the RSS-affiliated organisation would now approach all members of Parliament (MPs) to support the private members’ Bill on the issue. BJP Rajya Sabha MP Rakesh Sinha intends to bring a private members’ Bill on the issue.
The VHP also has plans to hold public rallies in Ayodhya, Nagpur and Bengaluru on November 25 to galvanise people to campaign for early construction of a Ram temple. A “huge dharma sabha” will be held in New Delhi on December 9. Madhya Pradesh goes to polls on November 28.
At a public rally in Kanker, Congress President Rahul Gandhi said the BJP and Prime Minister Narendra Modi had now taken to “lying” on issues, such as Naxalism, as they had failed to deliver on any of their 2014 election promises. The Congress manifesto has promised prohibition in the state and farm loan waivers.
In Karnataka, BJP workers protested the celebration of 18th century Mysuru ruler Tipu Sultan’s birth anniversary. Union Human Resource Development Minister Prakash Javadekar said the Congress government was holding an event to commemorate a man known for hatred against Hindus and Christians.
In Chhattisgarh, 18 of the 90 Assembly seats of the Bastar region are scheduled to poll on Monday. Top leaders of the parties in the fray were in the state on the last day of campaigning for the first phase. The polling for the remaining 72-seats is on November 20.
Highlights of BJP, Congress manifestos
- To develop ‘new Chhattisgarh’ in 5 years
- Cow sanctuaries in all divisions; milk revolution
- MSP for selected grains and oilseeds
- Pumps for 200,000 farmers in 5 years
- Rs 1,000 pension to above 60-years landless and marginal farmers
- Rs 200,000 to unmarried girls who pass Class 12
- Super-specialty hospitals in Ambikapur and Jagdalpur
- Setting-up of Chhattisgarh film city
- Farm loan waiver
- MSP for paddy, maize, soybean, sugarcane, gram
- Complete prohibition
- Power tariff to be halved
- Gram sabha to be empowered to implement prohibition in tribal areas
- Rs 2,500 monthly stipend to 1 million jobless youth
- 35kg monthly rice for each family at Rs 1
- Land for landless rural families
- Implementation of Forest Rights Act/PESA
- Cow shelters; milk cooperatives on the lines of Amul