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Modi attends Hindu temple groundbreaking at razed mosque site

Critics claim prime minister used visit to promote nationalist policies of BJP

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi performs the groundbreaking ceremony of a temple dedicated to the Hindu god Ram, in Ayodhya, India on Aug. 5. (Photo courtesy of India's Press Information Bureau)

NEW DELHI -- Nearly three decades after a 16th-century mosque was demolished by Hindu hardliners, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Wednesday visited Ayodhya, the site of the incident, to lay the foundation of a new planned Hindu temple.

The temple's construction, along with scrapping the semi-autonomous status of India's only Muslim-majority state, Jammu and Kashmir, have been part of election manifestos that brought Modi and his Hindu nationalist Bharatiya Janata Party to power and kept them there.

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