The proposed Ram temple in Ayodhya, for which the Supreme Court gave a green signal earlier this month, was pitched as a theme for the Jharkhand assembly poll by BJP chief Amit Shah today. The party, which is seeking a second term in power in the state under the leadership of Chief Minister Raghubar Das, also focussed on the Centre's move to end special status of Jammu and Kashmir.
Formally launching the party's campaign in the state, BJP chief Amit Shah accused the Congress of blocking the construction of the Ram temple in Ayodhya.
"You people tell me -- Should a Ram temple be built in Ayodhya or not? But the Congress party was not letting the case be heard continuously. Now, the Supreme Court has delivered a historic verdict, paving way for a grand Ram temple in Ayodhya," Mr Shah said while addressing an election rally at Latehar, around 100 km from state capital Ranchi.
The title suit in the Ayodhya case was pending in court for around six decades before it was resolved by the five-judge bench led by then Chief Justice of India Ranjan Gogoi. The verdict came after 40 days of continuous hearing by the Supreme Court.
The court had ordered that the Central government formulate a scheme for setting up a trust within three months and hand over the disputed site to it for the construction of a temple. The court had also ordered that five acres of land at a prominent location in Ayodhya be allotted for the construction of the mosque.
Mr Shah also raised the government's move to end the special status of Jammu and Kashmir, accusing the Congress of allowing it to continue for decades.
"The Congress had allowed the Kashmir problem to continue for 70 years in its greed for a vote bank. However, Prime Minister Narendra Modi removed the stigma of Article 370, bringing the Kashmir Valley on the path of development," Mr Shah said.
A focus of national issues had not seen to have served the BJP well in Maharashtra, where assembly elections were held last month.
Far from its hopes of reaching the majority mark on its own, the party had not even touched its tally of 2014 and is out of the race to form government after it fell out with ally Shiv Sena over dvision of power.
The BJP chief also compared the budget allocated by the Congress and the BJP governments in Jharkhand. "The Sonia-Manmohan government had given Rs 55,253 crore for the development of Jharkhand in the 13th Finance Commission. Modi government has given Rs 3,08,487 crore for the development of Jharkhand," he said.
Jharkhand will go to polls in five phases. The first phase of polling will be held on November 30, after which polling will be held on December 6, 12, 16 and 20. The results will be declared on December 23.
The Congress has forged an alliance with regional powers Jharkhand Mukti Morcha and the Rashtriya Janata Dal in the state.
In 2014, the BJP, which won 43 seats, tied up with the All Jharkhand Students' Union, which had won five seats.