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After controversy, BJP UP chief Maurya says Ram Temple only after SC verdict

Days after declaring a “grand” temple will be built in Ayodhya if BJP gets majority, state unit chief Keshav Prasad Maurya on Friday sought to make amends saying it would be built after Supreme Court order but Uttar Pradesh will see ‘Ram Rajya’ if his party wrests power.

Addressing a press conference at the party office at Gulab-bagh in Sigra here, he exuded confidence the BJP will form the government in the state and “restore law & order” and put “goons” behind the bars. “Ram temple will be built in Ayodhya only after the order of the Supreme court, but ‘Ram Rajya’ will soon prevail in the state with the party sweeping the UP assembly polls,” he said. Speaking to reporters in Delhi on January 24, Maurya had said, “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.” On protest after distribution of party tickets, he said tickets have been given after a survey and winnability and they tickets would not be replaced.

He said lodging protest for ticket is the “culture of BSP and SP workers” and not of his party’s, and added the upset party workers would be listened to and those who have been skipped “genuinely” would get “due respect” in “near future”. Attacking Congress party, Maurya said it was struggling to save its image in the state and the “experiment” of making Priyanka Gandhi a star campaigner will not help them. He said his party will win over 300 seats and form the next government in the state. He also said the “goons from SP and BSP” won’t be spared and the next BJP government will send them behind the bars.

He said the party will fight this election on the issue of eliminating corruption, bringing development ushering in ‘Ram Rajya’. Amidst strong protests from the supporters of a sitting seven-time Varanasi (South)MLA, Shyam Deo Roy Chaudhary, Maurya went to his residence and asked him to campaign in support of the party and its candidates. However, when contacted Chaudhary said, “As a party member associated since the Jan Sangh time, denying ticket by the party was an attack on my self-respect, which I earned in the last 35 years of my career but now it is completely lost.” He said, “Maurya told me that party will give me due respect in future but I have demanded the ticket from the same Assembly seat. He (Maurya) sought a 2-3 days time for me to respond.

“The Party should make clear what is the ‘respect’ it is going to offer me after insulting me,” he said, asking “they should give justification that why they had denied ticket to me for a seat that I had been winning for the last 35 years?” The veteran MLA though made it clear he will neither change party nor will contest as an Independent. “I will sit down at my home but will not contest against the new candidate from my party, who replaced me,” he said. “I don’t want to spoil my image by changing my party to which I have given a selfless service,” he said.