Dispute over Ayodhya land deal set to become major political issue ahead of UP elections: The Tribune India
Tribune press service
New Delhi, June 15
As opposition parties, including the Samajwadi Party, Congress and the Aam Aadmi Party, are forcing the BJP into power over allegations of “corruption in land acquisition by Shri Ram Janmbhoomi Teerth Kshetra”, the issue has the potential to become a major political issue in the run-up to elections in Uttar Pradesh next year.
Former UP Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav on Tuesday called on members of the Trust overseeing the construction of Ram Temple in Ayodhya to resign until they are cleared of the allegations. Yadav said the allegations involve “millions of rupees and required a ‘nishpaksh’ (neutral) investigation”.
‘If question marks are put on those responsible for overseeing the work of Lord Ram, they should resign until the inquiry is open,’ he said.
Sources, meanwhile, say Chief Minister Adityanath had sought information from officials and was “satisfied with the response/report”. The trust’s general secretary, Champat Rai, also called all the allegations “politically motivated” and gave a detailed response on the deal and other plans. The Trust is accused of buying land worth Rs 2 crore for Rs 18.5 crore amid allegations that “no acquisition clearance was also taken at a meeting”.
Meanwhile, Sultan Ansari, a party to the final land deal, also claimed that the land deal with the Trust was “transparent and that financial transactions were done using banking methods”.
However, with the state set for Assembly polls, the controversy took on political significance. Calling it a “serious matter,” political analyst Sudhir Panwar says the allegations “not only challenged the BJP-RSS rhetoric that Ram Temple is a matter of faith for them, but eroded trust. of those who contributed and raised funds for the temple in Ayodhya”.
“There must also be better explanations than Mr Champat Rai’s arrogant response yesterday,” said Panwar, also associated with the SP. “The mention of the murder of Mahatma Gandhi without any reference on his part was not just a diversionary tactic but indicative of arrogance. It is the duty of individuals and organizations associated with the construction of the Shri Ram Temple to prove their innocence before the public to defend public faith in cultural and religious organizations,” he said.
Meanwhile, AAP Rajya Sabha MP Sanjay Singh, who has called for a CBI and ED investigation into the case, today claimed that his North Avenue high security residence had been vandalized because of its position. Blaming the ‘BJP’ for the ‘attack’, Singh said he ‘will not allow anyone to steal the money intended for the construction of the Shri Ram temple’. “I will not be intimidated. I will continue to report this scam on behalf of Prabhu Shri Ram,” said Singh, who belongs to Sultanpur in Uttar Pradesh.