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Feb 14, 2018 03:49 PM IST | Source: Moneycontrol.com

Ram Rajya Rath Yatra 2018: Where did it all start?

Spearheaded by LK Advani of the Bhartiya Janata Party, the first ever political rath yatra started in Somnath.

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The Ram Rajya Rath Yatra commenced from Ayodhya, Uttar Pradesh to Rameswaram in Tamil Nadu, on Tuesday and will cover six states over the course of 41 days. The organisers of this yatra are the Vishwa Hindu Parishad and the Muslim Rashtriya Manch, affiliated to the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh.

On March 14, the Ramjanmabhoomi-Babri Masjid land dispute case is scheduled for its final hearing in the Supreme Court.

This yatra will be carried out in all the BJP-ruled states such as Madhya Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh, Karnataka, with the last leg of the trip in Kerala, according to a report by NDTV.

Ayodhya, a place considered as the birthplace of Lord Rama by Hindus, witnessed another Rath Yatra in 1990. The main objective of this yatra was to support VHP’s demand of constructing a temple in place of the Babri Masjid.

Spearheaded by LK Advani of the Bhartiya Janata Party, the first ever political rath yatra started in Somnath. Many people joined the yatra as and when it passed through their state, supporting the leaders and BJP. The yatra saw many communal clashes in the states which it passed through and was deemed ‘anti-Muslim’ by many political experts.

In 1992, as a continuation of the project, BJP, VHP and Bajrang Dal conducted a rally outside the Babri Masjid with over 1500 volunteers present. Advani, Uma Bharti and Murli Manohar Joshi were the speakers at the rally. The police forces present were outnumbered, the mob spiralled out of control and attacked the mosque and demolished it. The groups demolished other mosques in the vicinity, too, setting off communal riots which left over 2000 people dead.

The Rath Yatra in 1990 helped the citizen connect of the BJP to shoot up more than ever before. It helped in doubling the BJP’s vote percentage in the 1991 Lok Sabha elections, as compared to the 1989 elections. The launch of the present yatra comes a year before the 2019 Lok Sabha elections.
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