A day after Ram temple votaries in Ayodhya backed Rahul Gandhi’s Bharat Jodo Yatra, Union Home Minister Amit Shah, targeting the Congress leader, announced that the Ram temple will be ready on January 1, 2024.
Addressing a rally in Sabroom in Tripura where Assembly elections are due in March this year, Shah criticised the Congress and Rahul Gandhi over the temple issue and praised Prime Minister Narendra Modi for expediting its construction.
This is the first time that a date has been announced publicly for the opening of the temple under construction in Ayodhya. General Elections are due in 2024 and the opening of the temple is expected to be a milestone for the ruling BJP, which counts the temple movement as the fulcrum for its emergence as a national electoral force in the 1990s.
“The Congress hindered the construction of Ram Temple in courts… After the Supreme Court verdict came, Prime Minister Narendra Modi began the construction of the temple,” Shah declared.
In November 2022, Uttar Pradesh CM Yogi Adityanath had said that the construction of the temple had crossed the halfway mark and it would be ready by December this year.
The construction at the site — caught in a legal dispute for decades — started in August 2020 after the Supreme Court handed it over for a temple. Its foundation stone was laid by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on August 5.
The completed temple will have 160 columns on the ground floor, 132 columns on the first floor and 74 columns on the second floor. There will be five “mandaps” or pavilions. There will be a pilgrim facilitation centre, museum, archives, research centre, auditorium, cattle shed, an administrative building and rooms for priests on the grounds.
Flagging off the Sabroom segment of the BJP’s Jan Vishwas Yatra, Shah said the BJP government has just shown a “trailer” of development in Tripura, and “the picture is still left.”
He appealed to people to repose faith in Modi’s development model and promised to make Tripura the “most prosperous state” among small states in the country in the next five years.
Targeting the Congress, he said Pakistani intruders would often cross the border and kill Indian soldiers during the 10 years when the Congress-led UPA government was in power. Ever since the BJP came to power, firm replies were given for the Uri and Pulwama terror attacks, he said.
The BJP yatra started from Dharmanagar in north Tripura and Sabroom in the south. It will cover 1,000 km across all 60 Assembly constituencies over 8 days and include 200 meetings, 100 padyatras and 50 road shows.
Tripura Chief Minister Manik Saha said the Chalo Paltai (Let’s change) slogan of 2018 (which ended Left Front rule in the state) was based on faith in good governance, which was delivered in the last five years. “Our government delivered good governance with support from the Centre. We are confident the BJP will return to power in all 60 seats,” he said.
Also Read: Amit Shah Announces Ram Temple Opening Date