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Ayodhya Shocker: How BJP MP Lallu Singh’s Constitution Remark Speeded Up the Countdown – News18

Ayodhya Shocker: How BJP MP Lallu Singh’s Constitution Remark Speeded Up the Countdown – News18


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When the comments snowballed into a controversy and gave the INDIA bloc more ammo to attack the BJP with, Lallu Singh claimed the remark was a “slip of tongue”. (PTI/File)

According to political observers, the alleged lack of compensation to property owners whose shops and homes were razed down to make way for the Ram Path was the first misstep. But it was a callous remark on “making a new Constitution” by BJP MP and candidate Lallu Singh that seems to have been the final nail in the coffin

The ruling Bharatiya Janata Party losing the Faizabad Lok Sabha election to a Dalit candidate from the Samajwadi Party would not have been on the list of predictions of any political observer or psephologist five months after the party completed its decades-long promise of constructing a grand Ram Temple at the supposed birthplace of Lord Ram.

But the unthinkable came to pass this Tuesday when voters in Faizabad, under which comes Ayodhya, voted out BJP’s Lallu Singh. The two-time MP was defeated by Samajwadi Party’s Awadhesh Prasad by 54,567 votes. The loss of the Faizabad/Ayodhya seat contributed numerically to the fall in the party’s Uttar Pradesh tally from 62 seats in 2019 to 33 now and emotionally to the bruising it received in a stronghold state.

According to political observers, the land acquisition for the Ram Path leading up to the Ram Temple and the alleged lack of compensation to property owners whose shops and homes were razed down in the process was the first misstep that cost the BJP.

But it was a callous remark by sitting MP and BJP candidate Lallu Singh that seems to have been the final nail in the coffin. At a public meeting in Milkipur in April, Lallu Singh asked the public to vote for the BJP as the government “will need a two-thirds majority in Parliament to make a new Constitution”.

In the video that went viral, Lallu Singh was purporyedly heard saying that even a government formed with 272-seat majority “cannot amend the Constitution”. “For that, or even if a new Constitution is to be made, there is a need of over two-thirds majority.”

The timing of the remark was wrong on two counts. First, it came days after Prime Minister Narendra Modi sought to assure voters that no government can change the Constitution. Second, Lallu Singh made the remark on Ambedkar Jayanti — celebrated to mark the birth anniversary of Dalit icon BR Ambedkar who headed the committee drafting the Constitution after India’s independence.

As per several reports, the remark did not go down well with the Faizabad voters, of whom 22% are OBCs, 21% are Dalits 21% and 19% are Muslims.

When the comments snowballed into a controversy and gave the INDIA bloc more ammo to attack the BJP with, Lallu Singh claimed the remark was a “slip of tongue” and said he was trying to talk about constitutional amendments and not changing or rewriting the Constitution.

“I was simply saying that to make our country great, we have to ensure that PM Modi comes to power again and that we may need to make constitutional amendments for which we have to ensure that we get over two-thirds majority… Modi ji himself has said that not even Ambedkar can change the Constitution even if he comes back, what more is needed?”

Reports also suggest that Lallu Singh may have missed the mark in connecting with the voters on the ground, depending solely on the Ram Mandir and Narendra Modi factors to take him past the finish line.

On the other hand, the Samajwadi Party played a few cards right. It took the bold move of fielding a Dalit candidate on a General category seat and read the local sentiments with respect to the anger over land acquisition and the lack of basic civic amenities beyond the Ram Mandir. More importantly, Akhilesh Yadav held rallies in rural Ayodhya.

The defeat is a personal blow for Lallu Singh beyond the obvious election loss. It kept him being the first Faizabad MP to score a hat-trick.

A native of Raipur village near Ayodhya city, Lallu Singh started his electoral career as MLA from Ayodhya constituency. He won the seat five times — 1991, 1993, 1996, 2002 and 2007.

In 2014, he entered the Lok Sabha for the first time after winning the Faizabad seat in the Narendra Modi. He had defeated nearest rival and SP candidate Mitrasen Yadav by a margin of 2,82,775 votes and received 48.08% vote share. Lallu Singh retained his seat in the 2019 electios, beating Anand Sen Yadav of the SP and Dr. Nirmal Khatri of the Congress. His victory margin in 2019, however, had dropped drastically to 65,477 votes.



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