Zee Media Bureau
Ayodhya: Ahead of the upcoming General Elections, the Bharatiya Janata Party played the Ram Temple card when its general secretary said he wished the party will soon build a grand temple for Lord Rama here.
Driving straight to the temple town from Lucknow, Shah offered prayers before the idols of Lord Ram at the makeshift Ram temple built here in 1992 and then went to the nearby Hanuman Garhi temple.
Amidst "Jai Shri Ram" chants, BJP national general secretary and UP in-charge Amit Shah, who is on a visit here, told reporters: "I have prayed that we together build a grand Ram temple here as soon as possible and restore Lord Ram to his rightful place."
The Ram temple issue has helped the party boost its electoral prospects in the past and Shah`s visit appears to be an attempt to raise this issue again in the coming elections.
The close aide of Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi also said that he prayed for a "Congress-free India".
"I came to visit the Ram temple which is a centre of faith for crores of Hindus from around the world. After worshipping here I have prayed that good governance is established in the country and the nation gets rid of the Congress," Shah told reporters.
Janata Dal (United) chief Sharad Yadav, meanwhile, commented on Shah`s statement, saying either legal route or compromise could resolve the Ram Temple issue. "Let Amit Shah say anything," Yadav added.
Under Modi as BJP Election Campaign Committee Chief, the party wants to recapture its old base in Uttar Pradesh which is crucial for the party to form a government at the Centre. The state has 80 Lok Sabha constituencies and BJP is eyeing around 40 seats where it can put up a good fight in the polls, sources said.
Shah, the former home minister of Gujarat, however, refused to answer questions on the CBI chargesheet in Ishrat Jahan encounter case.
There are reports that Shah may be named in a subsequent chargesheet.
He later met state leaders of the Bharatiya Janata Party`s Avadh Prant, which includes 14 districts of Uttar Pradesh.
(With Agency inputs)