Ram Temple Fails to Deliver Poll Dividends; SP’s Dalit Candidate Defeats BJP in Faizabad

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Voters seem to be prioritising governance and local issues over symbolic achievements.

Team Clarion

NEW DELHI – The consecration of the Ram Temple and the elaborate arrangements associated with it have failed to sway the voters in the Faizabad constituency which also consists of the historic Hindu township of Ayodhya. The ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) considered Faizabad to be an assured seat given the Ayodhya temple fanfare, but it was in for a rude shock; Samajwadi Party (SP) candidate Awadhesh Prasad, who belongs to the Dalit community, triumphed over incumbent MP Lallu Singh of the BJP by a margin of 56,000 votes.

This constituency drew the attention of millions of Ram devotees worldwide. Initial vote counting had the BJP hopeful of securing a win. However, as the day progressed, the SP candidate maintained a steady lead, eventually securing a decisive victory.

“Today’s result shows that the people of Ayodhya are looking for more than just symbolic gestures,” said Prasad in his victory speech. “They seek real development and representation.”

Prasad is a seasoned politician with a formidable track record, having served as an MLA nine times and a cabinet minister six times in Uttar Pradesh. Currently, he represents the Malikpur assembly in Ayodhya district.

BJP’s Singh, the incumbent MP, has also had a substantial political career, with five terms as an MLA, two terms as an MP, and several ministerial roles. Singh’s campaign slogan, “We will bring those who brought Ram,” aimed to capitalise on the Ram Mandir’s significance but ultimately fell short.

Political analyst Rajesh Kumar commented on the poll outcome: “The BJP’s strategy of relying heavily on the Ram Mandir’s emotional appeal didn’t resonate with the electorate as expected. Voters are increasingly prioritising governance and local issues over symbolic achievements.”

The defeat in Ayodhya is particularly significant given the city’s symbolic importance to the BJP and its supporters. The Ram Mandir, a long-standing political and cultural project for the party, was expected to secure its hold over the constituency.

This result marks a pivotal moment in Ayodhya’s political landscape, reflecting a shift in voter priorities. As the election dust settles, the SP’s victory in such a crucial constituency underscores the electorate’s demand for substantive governance over symbolism.

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