Asianet News Mood of the Voters survey: Will Ram Mandir impact UP election 2022?
Asianet News Mood of the Voters survey explores whether the BJP gain an advantage out of this when Uttar Pradesh goes to the polls seven months later in 2022
In the run-up to the 2017 Uttar Pradesh assembly elections, the Bharatiya Janata Party had promised voters that they would start building a grand Ram Temple in Ayodhya if the party comes to power with a clear majority.
On August 5, 2020, Prime Minister Narendra Modi fulfilled that promise when he conducted the bhumi pujan at Ayodhya for the start of temple construction. The temple construction is underway in full swing, and if the temple trust authorities are to be believed, the temple may be opened for devotees by the end of 2023.
So will the BJP gain an advantage out of this when Uttar Pradesh goes to the polls seven months later in 2022?
According to the Asianet News Mood of the Voters survey, 55 per cent of the voters responded by saying that Ram Mandir is an important talking point ahead of the elections.
A total of 45 per cent of the respondents believed that the issue might not be as much important for them in the coming elections.
Region-wise analysis shows how the Ram Mandir subject is more important for people in the Kanpur-Bundelkhand belt, where overall 75 per cent of people said that it was important for them.
The Ram Mandir, designed by architect Chandrakant Sompura, is being constructed in the Nagara style of architecture. The temple, which will be 161 feet tall, will have a 'shikhar' (tower) over the sanctum sanctorum.
About 49 per cent of the population in the Brij and Kashi regions too termed the Ram Mandir as an important topic in the forthcoming elections.
In complete contrast, people in Gorakh (60%), Awadh (50%) and western Uttar Pradesh (81%) regions did not believe that it was an important talking point anymore.
However, there were indications that the tempo is slowly building up and could peak closer to the elections.
The survey indicated that without the Hindutva agenda, the BJP might find winning the 2022 elections tough. But banking singularly on Hindutva will not be enough. Welfarism, the rule of law, caste balance, ticket distribution, ensuring high polling of non-Yadav OBCs and working on Brahmin voters in the Kanpur Bundelkhand area will be critical.
These factors weigh more now than they did in Uttar Pradesh in 2017.