BJP Banks on Ram Mandir Trips to Win LS Seats

Hyderabad: The state BJP is pinning high hopes on ‘Ram Bhakts’— many of whom are on a BJP-organised subsidised pilgrimage tour to the temple town of Ayodhya — for victory in the Lok Sabha polls.

The BJP’s move is seen as a manoeuvre to capitalise on the success of the Ram Lalla consecration ceremony, to turn Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s new slogan of ‘Ab ki Baar Char Sau Paar (This poll, we will cross 400 seats)’ into reality.

The BJP has chalked out plans to ferry over 40,000 devotees from all Lok Sabha constituencies in the state to Ayodhya over the next three months. The first train of 1,400 devotees — comprising people from the Zaheerabad Lok Sabha constituency — left from Secunderabad on February 13.

On Saturday, a 20-bogie ‘Aastha Special’ set off for Ayodhya, with 1,434 devotees on a five-day subsidised trip. The cost of each passenger including meals and water is Rs 1,800. The BJP-led Yogi Adityanath government in Uttar Pradesh is providing free accommodation to the passengers in large halls.

The devotees were from diverse backgrounds and mostly from the Scheduled Castes and Tribes communities, besides hardcore BJP workers from the Medak Lok Sabha constituency where the BRS enjoys considerable clout.

Organisers of the Ayodhya trips deployed a leader for a bogie each, to take care of all arrangements, right from booking tickets. BJP’s SC Morcha leader M. Ravinder said that 72 members from Medak, mostly belonging to the SC communities, were travelling with him.

Konda Manohar, an advocate from Sangareddy, said he was not a BJP worker, but the construction of the grand Ram temple and arranging subsidised travel to the temple town had made him sympathetic towards Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

Former BJP legislator M. Raghunandan Rao, who earlier represented Dubbak in the Medak Lok Sabha constituency, received devotees from all seven Assembly segments at the Secunderabad station on Saturday evening.

Special emphasis has been placed on security both at the departure station as well as on the trains.

( Source : Deccan Chronicle )
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