LUCKNOW: Giving a hard push to soft Hindutva in areas assigned to her by brother and Congress chief Rahul Gandhi, Priyanka Gandhi first undertook a Ganga Yatra from family bastion Prayagraj to Modi’s turf in Varanasi and then reached the nerve centre of Ram Janmabhoomi dispute and saffron politics — Ayodhya – winding up an impressive road show at Hanumangarhi temple on Friday.
It will be, however, interesting to watch if these yatras have any political connotation or are just about optics.
The intention of holding a 65-km long road show from Rae Bareli to Ayodhya and prompting people to come out on roads seems to cover the overarching region from Lucknow to Ayodhya with five constituencies --- Amethi, Rae Bareli, Sultanpur, Barabanki and Faizabad -- all part of Congress’s ‘Mission 30’.
However, the seers and saints of Priyanka’s Ayodhya visit with a pinch of salt. They felt that coming to the land of Lord Ram and not seeing him was incomprehensible.
Calling it mere theatrics in poll season, Mahant Dharam Das, a party in Ramjanmabhoomi litigation says: “Congress leaders keep away from Lord Ram. Neither Indira Ji, nor Sanjay Gandhi, Rajiv Gandhi or even Rahul Gandhi did not feel the need to have darshan of Lord Ram. When Ram is not in their hearts, why will they come here?” The seer attributes the whole dispute to early leadership of Congress party claiming they do not have faith in Ram.
On the other, Mahant Satendra Das, head priest of the makeshift temple, conceives Priyanka’s Ayodhya visit as a political gimmick with a missing religious sentiment.
Similarly, Iqbal Ansari, son of late Hashim Ansari, the first litigant of Ramjanmabhoomi Babri Masjid dispute, seeks the Congress leader to come clear on development agenda of her party. “Congress has been in the root of the age-old dispute which divided the society along religious lines. They did nothing for Ayodhya’s development during their regime of decades,” says Ansari claiming that corresponding governments of SP, BSP and now BJP all worked for the development of temple town.
However, in a strong rebuff to the seers of Ayodhya, senior Congress leader and party candidate from Faizabad, Nirmal Khatri advised the mahants firs to bring PM Modi to Ayodhya for darshan of Shri Ram then talk of Priyanka Gandhi.