Despite focusing on the development agenda for Uttar Pradesh Assembly elections, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) recently raked up the contentious issue of Ram Temple again before the first phase of elections on February 11, saying a “grand” temple will be built in Ayodhya if BJP secures an outright majority.

“Ram Mandir is a subject of faith. It is not going to be built in two months. The temple will be constructed after the elections. BJP will come to power with a full majority,” party’s Uttar Pradesh chief Keshav Prasad Maurya said.

The Ram temple movement had catapulted the BJP to the centre stage of national politics in the ’90s. To find out if raking up the Ram temple issue will help the saffron brigade, Inuth approached the youth. It seems that the BJP has used the Ram temple issue to the optimum, to an extent that the temple is not an issue for the young generation today.

“The issue of Ram Mandir has been raked up once again. It was raised just because elections are around the corner. Since childhood I have been hearing stories of Ram Mandir/Babri Masjid. Whatever it was, I don’t know. When the elections approach, we always hear versions of whether it was a temple or a mosque. If a Mandir or a mosque is constructed there, what will we get? It is just to divide Hindus and Muslims,” said Ahsan Mehdi.

“Ram Mandir is not an issue for me. It doesn’t mean anything to me. The biggest election issue for me is employment. Other issues for me and my friends are progress, profitable education, factories,” said Shivam Bajpai, a BBA graduate.

Expressing her displeasure over Maurya’s statement, Neha Sharma, a MBA student said, “When the matter is before the court, all should wait for the final judgment. Why are BJP leaders playing communal politics and misleading Hindus. When the party says its aim is to develop UP then why to drag the temple issue in between?”

It seems that the party will have to rethink the issue. The youth is more concerned about employment, development, good institutions rather than the age-old issue of Ram temple.