Yogi's Diwali celebrations at Ayodhya, first step toward Ram Temple construction

Yogi's Diwali celebrations at Ayodhya, first step toward Ram Temple construction
Grand Diwali celebrations at Ayodhya in the presence of Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath and senior BJP leaders was a step toward the construction of the Ram Temple, the saints of Ayodhya felt.

“It is certainly the first step...we are sure a grand Ram Temple will come up at Lord Rama’s birthplace in Ayodhya,’’ said Mahant Suresh Das, a prominent saint associated with the Digambar Akhara.

Suresh Das was among the saints with whom Adityanath held deliberations during his visit to the temple town.

Adityanath paid obeisance at the makeshift Ram Temple at the disputed site in Ayodhya on Thursday and hit out at his critics over the grand celebrations.

“The programme was organised with the help of the people,” he said after the opposition leaders accused him of using public money for holding the grand show.

He added that his faith in Lord Rama was a “personal matter” and no one had the right to question it.

Yogi had also announced schemes worth hundreds of crores for the development of Ayodhya during his visit. A host of cultural programmes was organised in the temple town on Wednesday. The entire town was decked up to welcome Adityanath and his cabinet.

Colorful processions, the lighting of earthen lamps on the bank of Saryu river marked the celebrations this year.

The celebrations in Ayodhya is being viewed in the political circles here as an attempt to keep the Ram Temple issue in the limelight ahead of Lok Sabha polls in 2019.

The visit also assumed significance in the wake of remarks by some senior BJP leaders that the temple construction would begin in 2019.

The temple issue had been in the limelight since Adityanath had assumed charge of the state. Truckloads of stones continue to arrive at Ayodhya from Rajasthan.

Adityanath had made it clear that the government did not intend to ban the transportation of stones as there was no legal bar on it.

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