The Uttar Pradesh government’s decision to hold the next cabinet meeting in Ayodhya ahead of the 2024 Lok Sabha Polls has sent ripples across the political circles. Opposition parties called the decision “politically motivated”, stating that the move was aimed to keep the Ram temple issue in the limelight.
UP minister Suresh Khanna while sharing the information related to the decision said out of the total 21 proposals, 20 were approved while the remaining one would be cleared in the next cabinet meeting in Ayodhya.
The government is, however, yet to finalise the date.
Though the government officials clarified that the reason behind holding the next cabinet meeting in Ayodhya may give nod to several developmental and beautification projects in the city, but the opposition found the “clarification” less convincing, and called it a “politically driven move”.
“It is purely a politically driven move as the Yogi-led BJP government wants to keep the issue of Ram temple and Ayodhya in the limelight until the 2024 Lok Sabha Polls. This is just an attempt to keep the issue alive,” said Udaiveer Singh, senior leader of Samajwadi Party (SP).
Singh further accused the BJP of playing the ‘Mandir Card’. “Be it in Madhya Pradesh or Rajasthan assembly polls, the party is playing the ‘Madir Card’ heavily to woo the voters. It wants to do the same tactic even in the 2024 Lok Sabha Polls in UP”.
According to political analysts, it is not for the first time that the BJP is holding a cabinet meeting in a city, other than state headquarters in Lucknow. The Yogi Adiyanath government held a cabinet meeting during its previous term in Prayagraj ahead of the 2019 Lok Sabha Polls.
As per the state government records, a cabinet meeting was held on January 29, 2019 ahead of the Lok Sabha elections on the banks of Sangam in Prayagraj. It was for the first time after 2000 that the state government held a meeting in the city other than Lucknow.
“In the meeting, the issues related to the development of Prayagraj were discussed. However, prior to 2000, there were instances when cabinet meetings were held in Nainital, which was then part of Uttar Pradesh,” a government spokesperson said.