The BJP has decided to put on hold its programmes in Uttarakhand during Vishva Hindu Parishad’s fund raising campaign for the Ram Temple in Ayodhya, set to start on January 15.
BJP sources said that party leaders and MLAs are interested in devoting time to the VHP’s campaign as it will strengthen a ‘pro-Hindutva’ image among voters and also draw goodwill among local functionaries of the Sangh Parivar, who may play an important role in selection of candidates for Assembly polls scheduled for next year.
“From January 15 to February 5, party leaders will keep their time reserved for VHP’s fund-raising campaign for Ram temple. VHP is leading the campaign but BJP leaders have been directed to actively participate in it and use their contacts to get contributions for Ram temple,” a BJP leader said.
Sources said state BJP president Bansi Dhar Bhagat’s ongoing tour of Assembly constituencies may also be put on hold due to this.
State BJP vice-president Devendra Bhasin said, “BJP has to play the role of an associate in the contribution collection programme for Ram temple. We will fulfil the expectations and ensure participation of people from across the society in the campaign. BJP’s programme will remain suspended during that period.”
In Uttarakhand, the VHP plans to appeal to nearly one crore Ram devotees to donate money and time for the Ayodhya temple. The campaign will run nationally till February 27 but in Uttarakhand, it will conclude on February 5, considering the smaller size of the state.