LUCKNOW: Prime Minister Narendra Modi, on his first visit to Ayodhya after becoming Prime Minister, addressed an election rally on Wednesday but avoided talking about the Ram temple issue.
Though the Prime Minister ended his speech with "Jai Shri Ram", he did not make any mention of the Ram temple. He mentioned the grandeur with which 'Dev Deepawali' was held in the holy city and the 'Kumbh Mela' in Prayagraj.
The Prime Minister's rally was held about 25 kilometres away from Ayodhya at Gosainganj on the Ayodhya-Ambedkar Nagar border.
He also did not visit the makeshift Ram temple and Mahant Paramhans Das said that it was unfortunate that the Prime Minister failed to give any message to the people about the BJP's commitment towards the construction of a grand Ram temple.
Mahant Nritya Gopal Das, head of the Ram Janambhoomi Nyas, said he had wanted Modi to offer prayers at the makeshift Ram temple.
"If the Prime Minister had sought the blessings of Ram Lalla, then nothing could be more beneficial for him. It would have sent a positive message across the country," said Mahant Nritya Gopal Das.
The Prime Minister mounted a scathing attack on the opposition and the alliance-terming it 'mahamilavati'-and said that these parties were more interested in grabbing power than in strengthening the country.
He said that his government has worked to check terrorism which had emerged as the biggest threat to the nation. "We have given a strong message that this is 'Naya Hindustan jo chhedega nahin magar chhodega bhi nahin. Hum bhi ghus ke marenge. We have controlled terror activities but not eradicated completely," he said.
The Prime Minister slammed the SP and BSP for claiming to be followers of Lohia and Ambedkar but demolished the ideologies of these leaders.
"These parties should have been concerned about labourers but did they do anything? The Congress talks about removing poverty but has it done anything to remove poverty?" he asked.
The Prime Minister said that a strong government was needed at the Centre to make the country stronger.
He also listed the various welfare schemes initiated by his government for the poor and asked people to vote for lotus which was a vote for Modi.
Modi had visited Ayodhya during the 2014 elections but did not offer prayers at the makeshift temple.