Advisers urge Modi: Skip Ayodhya, avoid Hindutva

Gujarat CM Narendra Modi, who was expected to visit Ayodhya on June 20, has been urged by his advisers to skip all hardcore Hindutva issues.
At a meeting in Ahmedabad on Monday afternoon, Mr Modi was asked by his team of advisers not to identify himself with contentious issues, but focus solely on the plank of development and good governance. The BJP is well aware that Ram Mandir issue has lost its electoral significance. While there are many demands for Mr Modi’s participation in various programmes, the BJP has decided in principle “not to overexpose” him.
A team under BJP vice-president Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi is taking a careful look at programmes Mr Modi could attend. On Hindutva, BJP leaders note that Mr Modi “stands for the cause, and there is no need to stress on it by making him attend functions”. BJP spin doctors also indicate while Mr Modi will try avoid contentious issues, the party will also not make any overt attempt to woo Muslims. “Any such attempt will hit Modi’s core Hindu middle-class votebank,” a senior leader argued.
Mr Modi was invited to attend a function at Ayodhya for Mahant Nityagopal Das, who played a key role in the Ram Janmabhoomi movement. There was no official confirmation, but mahants and sadhus said Mr Modi would come, sending a clear signal that the BJP was once again falling back on Ayodhya to polarise its votebank.

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