Lucknow, Feb 13, 2018 : Amid chanting of ’Jai Shriram’ and pledge by the saints and BJP leaders to build a grand Ram Temple, the ’Ramrajya Rathyatra’ was flagged from Ayodhya on Tuesday.
According to the Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP) from whose headquarters it was flagged off by its international general secretary Champat Rai, the 41-day long ’yatra’ would pass through six states, including the poll-bound Karnataka, and end at Rameshwaram.
Scores of saints and BJP leaders, including the party’s local Lok Sabha member Lallu Singh, were present at the ceremony. All of them took a pledge to build a grand Ram Temple at Ayodhya.
VHP leaders said that the ’Rathyatra’ would travel through Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Karnataka and Kerala besides UP.
Although the VHP had claimed that Adityanath would be flagging off the ’yatra’, the latter, who was busy campaigning for BJP in Tripura, chose to stay away from the event.
While the opposition parties alleged that it was an attempt by the BJP to ’’consolidate’’ Hindu votes ahead of 2019 Parliamentary elections, the saffron party rejected the charges and claimed that it was organised by a private entity.
’’The objective is to mobilise public opinion for Ram Temple construction....people will be made to take the pledge for the same...we aim to collect over a million signature also for this purpose,’’ said a VHP leader in Ayodhya.
Earlier senior BJP leader L.K.Advani had also embarked on a ’Rathyatra’ in 1990 for a similar purpose. The ’yatra’ was stopped in Bihar by the then chief minister Lalu Prasad Yadav, and Advani was arrested.
The ’Ramrajya Rathyatra’ assumes significance as it comes close on the heels of the arrival of truckloads of red stones from Rajasthan to be used for Ram Temple construction.
The VHP has been demanding enactment of a law through a Parliamentary legislation on the lines of Somnath Temple in Gujarat for Ram Temple at Ayodhya.