Ram temple, CAA set to be West Bengal BJP’s poll plank for General Election

State unit of the party has commenced an outreach programme focused on the Ram temple in Ayodhya

January 04, 2024 12:23 am | Updated January 10, 2024 11:57 am IST - Kolkata

The West Bengal unit of the BJP has decided to highlight the construction of the Ram temple in Ayodhya, and the implementation of CAA for winning over voters in the forthcoming Lok Sabha election.

The West Bengal unit of the BJP has decided to highlight the construction of the Ram temple in Ayodhya, and the implementation of CAA for winning over voters in the forthcoming Lok Sabha election. | Photo Credit: PTI

The West Bengal unit of the BJP has decided to highlight the construction of the Ram temple in Ayodhya, and the implementation of the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) as its poll planks for winning over voters in the State ahead of the forthcoming Lok Sabha election.

The State unit of the party has already started an outreach programme, with a focus on the construction of the Ram temple in Ayodhya. The door-to-door outreach campaign, aimed to take the message of ‘Sabke Ram’ (Ram belongs to all) was launched on January 1 and will continue for the next 15 days. 

Also read: Ayodhya verdict: All you need to know

The State BJP’s programme will coincide with Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh’s (RSS) campaign to reach out to 25 crore households nationwide with akshat and the ‘Sabke Ram’ message.

BJP leaders have started a door-to-door campaign, distributing leaflets and photographs of the Ram temple. Over the past few days, West Bengal BJP general secretary (organisation) Amitava Chakraborty, along with BJP councillors, has visited several households and held discussions on the temple construction.

The Leader of the Opposition in the State Assembly, Suvendu Adhikari, has assured voters from his constituency, Nandigram, that 100 people would travel every month to the Ram temple in Ayodhya. Mr. Adhikari has said that the Ram temple had led to an “awakening among the Hindus” in West Bengal. He also said that the Trinamool Congress had floated theories of a divide between the old and the new guard within the party to divert attention from the Ram temple.

Along with the construction of the Ram temple, the State BJP leadership is also bringing up the implementation of the CAA to win over a section of voters.

BJP MP and Union Minister of State for Shipping Santanu Thakur has said that the CAA will be implemented in the country before the Lok Sabha election. Mr. Thakur is the MP from the Bongaon Lok Sabha constituency, which has a large population of the Matua community, who voted for him in 2019 based on the promise to implement the CAA. The delay in framing the rules for the CAA had irked a section of Matuas, most of whom have migrated to West Bengal from Bangladesh.

While the Trinamool Congress (TMC) leadership has not opposed the construction of the Ram temple, the party is opposed to the implementation of the CAA.

Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee has not yet said whether she will attend the inauguration of the Ram temple in Ayodhya on January 22. “We respect Lord Ram and worship him, but we are not in favour of indulging in politics over Ram. The BJP wants to utilise the event for political gains ahead of the 2024 Lok Sabha polls. They plan to use Lord Ram as their election committee chairperson for the next three-four months,” the TMC’s State general secretary and spokesperson Kunal Ghosh said.

State Minister Sashi Panja said that the CM had categorically stated the CAA would not be implemented in Bengal. “Residents of Bengal are already Indian citizens, receiving government benefits. [There is] no need for re-citizenship,” Dr. Panja said, refuting the remarks made by Mr. Thakur.

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