To understand this aspect, we have to start from the beginning. Going back to 1987, this was the time when BJP was solidifying its base, and the likes of Narendra Modi impressed the top leaders of the party and the RSS. Modi’s effort to give justice and help the riot affected Hindus was impressive and remarkable. Please note that Ayodhya or Babri Masjid issue had not happened then; Modi was fighting for the affected Hindus of other riots. (No one had the idea even that this Modi will be unprecedented PM candidate of BJp for 2019 general election).
Lal Krushna Advani was the most powerful leader of the BJP and RSS as well back then. He found the rage that was witnessed among people, powered by the efforts of the likes of Modi impressive. Advani realised this is the perfect time to take things forward. He decided to start his very much known political rally, the “Ram Rath (Chariot)Yatra”. It was planned to be started from Saurashtra and concluded at Ayodhya. And, Modi was the organising all-in-all of this movement. Well, Advani had decided to spark the “Ram Janma Bhoomi or Ram Birth Place” issue immediately after being the party president. Hence, one can claim that Advani is actually interested in the matter. But, it is also true that neither BJP nor Advani were in a hurry about that. Their plan was to make people more involved or to make the issue reach among more number of people across the nation.
But, due to a political incident, this issue had to be raged more aggressively as all of us Indians know. What is that? Check out below.
The reservation politics that caused all these:
It was the time when V P Singh led Janta Dal was in government powered by external support from BJP. Mr. Singh decided to increase reservation for the backward castes or OBC. He made these reservations based on Mandal commission, which was like buried since past 15 years, as no one was entertaining. This changed the equation of him and his party with BJP. As BJP was getting stronger back then powered by the support from upper caste, Patels, and businessmen, they (BJP) obviously were not too impressed.
You can click on Fact is, Congress actually doesn’t trust Hardik Patel or simply the ‘Patels’: Read why for better idea on BJP’s power house.
BJP had to answer its prime vote banks in this regard. But, they (BJP) were not at a state to protest directly against the government about such decision. To keep the support intact they had earned among the common men or among the above groups of people, Advani decided to initiate “Ram Rath or Ram Chariot” movement. This decision was definitely taken in a hurry.
On the other hand, powered by the efficient workers like Modi, Advani also realized this can be a fantastic opportunity to involve more number of people with the party and make it stronger for future purpose. Though earlier, it was decided to start the Rath yatra from Saurastra, it was Modi who proposed to start it from Somnath temple, which had been attacked many times by Muslim rulers, and was not completely rejuvenated by then. Hence, starting the quest from there would indeed make this process more sensitive or more number of people would feel for it. Hence, the proposal was accepted. (Somnath temple aspect has its own political story, which we will discusslater). Anyway, as per Modi’s suggestion, the move was started from Somnath, and it was getting huge support from across the nation.
After covering 10k Kilometer, the quest had to end at Ayodhya on the eve of Dusshera. But, Lalu Prasad Yadav, the then CM of Bihar ordered to arrest Advani at Samastipur (of Bihar), which was silently supported by VP Singh.
After seeing Mr. Singh’s intention like this, BJP immediately withdrew itself from the alliance. As BJP had a significant number of ministers, the government itself had to break. Advani’s arrest caused communal riot between Hindu and Muslims, which said to have cost around 200 lives.
BJP indeed got stronger as Advani was getting huge support after they realised people about Somanath incident. In fact, in 1990 BJP won Gujarat election, after which they got more determined to carry forward the Ayodhya Ram Mandir issue. Rest we all know how things went on, and those 1993 Mumbai Dawood blast, Godhra train blast, 2002 Gujarat riot, etc.