Congress Vice President Rahul Gandhi's visit to Ayodhya on Friday was closely watched by various political parties as it was believed that the party had planned this visit with the intention of attracting brahmin votes in the upcoming assembly elections in Uttar Pradesh.
Rahul has been on his 2,500km Kisan Yatra which began from Deoria, an eastern UP district, on September 6. During the yatra, which would pass through 233 assembly constituencies of UP, the party would focus on warming up to brahmins, Muslims and OBC communities to better its position in the polls.
The roadmap of the yatra has been prepared by Prashant Kishore, the party's polls strategist in the state.
Though the Congress leader avoided visiting the disputed Ramjanmbhoomi-Babri Masjid site, he went to the famous Hanuman Gadhi complex where he sought the blessings of Mahant Gyandas, a prominent mahant (religious leader). They met for 20 minutes behind closed doors after which Gyandas said he gave Rahul his blessings to become the prime minister, adding that he urged the Congress leader to initiate steps to end the Ayodhya dispute.
The Congress scion's visit is significant also because it has been two decades any member of the Gandhi family visited Ayodhya. It may be recalled that former prime minister Rajiv Gandhi had visited Ayodhya in 1990 but failed to have a darshan of the temples in Hanuman Gadhi. Although Sonia Gandhi had visited Faizabad in 1992, she did not visit Ayodhya which is barely a few kilometers away from Faizabad. No member of the Gandhi family had visited Ayodhya since Babri Masjid demolition.