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Faizabad/Ayodhya Constituency Gears Up for High-Stakes Election Amidst Historical Significance

For decades, the Faizabad/Ayodhya Lok Sabha constituency in Uttar Pradesh was relatively unknown nationally until it gained prominence during the Ram Janmabhoomi movement in 1980. The movement intensified with the infamous Rath Yatra led by BJP leader Lal Krishna Advani on October 30, 1990, advocating for a Ram Temple in Ayodhya. The subsequent police firing […]

For decades, the Faizabad/Ayodhya Lok Sabha constituency in Uttar Pradesh was relatively unknown nationally until it gained prominence during the Ram Janmabhoomi movement in 1980. The movement intensified with the infamous Rath Yatra led by BJP leader Lal Krishna Advani on October 30, 1990, advocating for a Ram Temple in Ayodhya. The subsequent police firing on Kar Sevaks (volunteers) on November 2, 1990, and the demolition of the Babri mosque further thrust the town into the spotlight. The city, now firmly entrenched on the global map due to these events, is once again at the center of attention as it prepares for the fifth phase of polling in the ongoing general elections on May 20.

The current MP, Lallu Singh of the BJP, faces strong competition from Awadhesh Prasad of the Samajwadi Party (SP) in this highly anticipated election. The Faizabad/Ayodhya constituency, with its historical and cultural significance, is a focal point of the election, along with other prominent constituencies like Amethi, Raebareli, Barabnki, Kesarganj, and Lucknow, which also go to polls on May 20.

The Faizabad/Ayodhya Lok Sabha constituency comprises five Vidhan Sabha (assembly) segments-Ayodhya, Bikapur, Milkipur, Rudauli, and Dariyabad (Barabanki). In November 2018, the Yogi Adityanath-led state government officially renamed the Faizabad district as Ayodhya, further emphasizing the city's cultural and religious significance.

Lallu Singh is seeking a third term from Ayodhya, with the construction of the Ram Mandir (temple) on the site of the Babri mosque being a key campaign issue. This issue has resonated with millions across the country and has been prominently featured in the campaign speeches of BJP leaders, including Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Union Home Minister Amit Shah.

Aside from Awadhesh Prasad of the Samajwadi Party, Sachhidanand Pandey of the Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) is also contesting from Ayodhya. Despite being a five-time BJP MLA, Lallu Singh faces a tough challenge from Awadhesh Prasad, who has a strong political background and was formerly a minister in Akhilesh Yadav's cabinet.

In the 2019 elections, Lallu Singh secured a comfortable victory over his closest rival, Anand Sen Yadav of the Samajwadi Party, receiving 529,021 votes against 463,544 garnered by Yadav. Faizabad/Ayodhya recorded an impressive overall voter turnout of 61.5% in the 2019 elections.

In the 2014 general elections, Lallu Singh won by a significant margin of 1,14,059 votes against Mitrasen Yadav of the Samajwadi Party. The BJP has been successful in Uttar Pradesh in recent national elections, winning 71 and 64 seats in the 2014 and 2019 elections respectively, making it the largest single party in the state.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi, accompanied by Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath, held a massive roadshow in Ayodhya on May 6 in support of the BJP's candidate. The roadshow, which was widely televised, drew a tremendous response from locals who lined the streets, chanting slogans in support of PM Modi and CM Yogi.

PM Modi's visit marked his third to Ayodhya in six months, during which he announced several development projects for the city. With ongoing development projects worth more than Rs 32,000 crore and the establishment of a world-class railway station and an international airport named after Maharishi Valmiki, Ayodhya is poised to become a globally recognized city while maintaining its traditional and historical significance.

The Ayodhya dispute, which had been a contentious issue for decades, was settled by a landmark Supreme Court judgment in 2019, allowing for the construction of the Ram temple at the disputed site. The ceremony for the ceremonial enthronement of Ram Lalla at his birthplace marked the completion of the first phase of the temple's construction.

In the 2019 elections, the BJP and its ally Apna Dal(S) defied expectations and won 64 of the 80 Lok Sabha seats in Uttar Pradesh, while the SP and the BSP, part of the ‘Bua-Bhatija' (aunt-nephew) Mahagathbandhan, managed only 15 seats combined.

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