As election fever grips the temple town, Muslims in this renamed district are focusing on development and employment matters and feel the Ram temple issue is "dead" and political parties should move on and concentrate on people-centric issues.
In Ayodhya, Hindus and Muslims live together. The district should have better roads, parking facilities and factories also, Iqbal Ansari, who was an independent litigant and son of one of the oldest litigants in the Ram Janambhoomi-Babri mosque dispute case Mohammad Hashim Ansari, told PTI.
"There are thousands of temples in Ayodhya, one more (Ram temple) is being constructed," he said and added, "Now, our youth need employment. There should be development as now Ayodhya is a district".
"The temple-mosque issue is no more here. Muslims did not say anything about the court's judgment and accepted it. Now is the time to talk about employment and development," he said.
Praising Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath, Ansari said, "He has broken years of record by making the state riot-free. There was no riot in the last five years".
Haji Mehboob, 76, who resides near the Ram Janmabhoomi Police
Station and was another prominent litigant in the Ayodhya title suit case, said whatever the government says this time there will be a "change".
"Sarkar jo bhi gana gaye, is bar sarkar paltegi," (The government will change this time), he said.
About the political atmosphere in Ayodhya, he said this time the Samajwadi Party has a good chance and its leader has raised all issues related to the common people, who want better living conditions and jobs for their wards.
Hamid Zafar Misam, a resident of Rath Haveli road, said that due to Covid-19 the middle class has suffered a lot and the government did nothing considerable for them.
"They remained entangled in paying their electricity bills, loan installments and no considerable relief was given to them. The doctors with big degrees quarantined themselves and those who helped people were the one called quacks," he said.
"People died not only due to Covid but also due to heart attacks and other health problems as OPDs were closed. For progress, what we need is employment and medical facilities here," Misam said.
About Adityanath not contesting from Ayodhya after initial activeness shown there , Misam said, "wo bhag khade hue yahan se," (he fled away from Ayodhya).
When asked why, he said, "Seeing the internal survey response for him from here, he fled."
About the Ram temple issue, he said, "It was not the BJP government which paved the way for the construction of the temple by bringing in a legislation for the same. It was the court, which gave its verdict, which was accepted by all."
Khalik Ahmad Khan, who resides near the Kanghi Gali mosque, said Muslims will always vote for secular forces and never go with communal forces.
"If any Muslim has contested from any party ticket on communal lines, he is defeated by Muslims themselves. We are not against anyone but are in favour of secularism," he said.
He said the Ram temple matter is a "dead issue" now and political parties should also move on and concentrate on people-centric issues.
The Yogi Adityanath government had changed the name of Faizabad to Ayodhya district in 2018.
According to the 2011 census, Hindus are a majority in Ayodhya. Of the total population, there are 84.75 per cent Hindus, 14.80 per cent Muslims besides others in the district.
Ayodhya will go to polls in the fifth phase on February 27. The district has five assembly seats, all held by the BJP currently.
Various political parties are yet to declared their candidates in Ayodhya.