Patna: Bihar chief minister Nitish Kumar has said that focus on development, not the issue of Ram Mandir, will bring victory in the all-important 2019 Lok Sabha elections. In a message to ally BJP shortly after the seat-sharing arrangement in Bihar was announced, the JDU leader said that the issue of Ram Mandir must be settled either in courts or through mutual agreement.
The BJP has announced that it and JDU will contest in 17 seats each in Bihar in the Lok Sabha elections while Ram Vilas Paswan-led LJP will contest in the remaining six. And even as the issue of Ram Mandir gathers momentum ahead of elections, Nitish has said that there must not be any deviation from the path of development. "Every party has its own opinion but one thing must be known - this issue (Ram Mandir) will be solved either through the court's verdict or through mutual understanding. We should concentrate on development and progress as these would ensure victory in the elections next year," he said.
While Nitish may be urging development to be made a key focus area, there are several prominent figures within BJP who have repeatedly underlined the significance of Ram Mandir. "Nobody can stop us from constructing the Ram Mandir. Sentiments of Hindus are attached to it and it shall be done," UP CM Yogi Adityanath said at a recent event.
Allies like Shiv Sena too have begun exerting pressure on BJP to ensure Ram Mandir is made.
The matter is currently in Supreme Court and the apex court in October had postponed the case to January of next year.