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Modi invokes ‘Lord Ram’; poll panel seeks report

Modi invokes ‘Lord Ram’; poll panel seeks report
Highlights

Narendra Modi Invokes ‘Lord Ram’; Poll Panel Seeks Report. In the final lap of his campaign in Uttar Pradesh, Narendra Modi, the BJP\'s prime ministerial candidate, slipped in Lord Ram\'s name and also had the Hindu God and a temple as his backdrop.

Congress complains misuse of religious symbols

Faizabad: In the final lap of his campaign in Uttar Pradesh, Narendra Modi, the BJP's prime ministerial candidate, slipped in Lord Ram's name and also had the Hindu God and a temple as his backdrop. The Congress immediately tore into him alleging that his campaign was based on "polarisation, not development."

It has complained against the use of religious symbols at Modi's rally and the Election Commission has asked for a report to ascertain if its rules were violated.

Modi was speaking in Faizabad, a town right next to Ayodhya, where the 16th century Babri mosque was brought down by Hindu activists in 1992. The BJP's ideological mentor the RSS and its affiliates have been campaigning for a Ram temple at the disputed site.

"This is the land of Lord Ram where people believed in 'pran jaye par vachan na jaye' (one may lose life but cannot break promise). Can you pardon those who broke their promises?" the BJP's prime ministerial candidate said at a rally, referring to what he described as the Samajwadi Party government's failure to provide jobs in the State.

"I assure you from Bhagwan Ram's land, I will fight corruption throughout my life. I have seen poverty, that's why I have the courage to say this."

But, only about six km away from Ayodhya, Modi, 63, did not mention the Ram temple, once the core agenda of his party. He was clearly walking a political tightrope.

During much of his campaign for the national election, Modi has distanced himself from overtly pro-Hindu agenda like the Ram temple campaign, and has pitched himself as a man of development.

The Congress said the rally made it clear that Modi and the BJP were banking on polarising voters in Uttar Pradesh, India's most politically vital state with 80 parliamentary seats.

Senior BJP leader Yashwant Sinha quipped, "I would urge the Congress to make an expressway from the Congress headquarters to the Election Commission headquarters so that they can complain."

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