In the run up to assembly elections in Uttar Pradesh, the Bharatiya Janata Party is trying to woo both the Brahmins (its traditional vote bank) and Dalits. While the Yogi Adityanath government has announced an Ambedkar memorial in Lucknow, joining of Congress’s Brahmin face, Jitin Prasada, and revamping of temple town of Ayodhya may further boost its prospects.
Amid the poll preparations, Prime Minister Narendra Modi is set to review Ayodhya development projects worth Rs 20,000 crore, with CM Yogi and other officials via video conference at 11 am on Saturday. The chief minister will present a vision document for Ayodhya’s development to PM Modi, in which construction work on the Ram temple will also be discussed.
Reacting to the PM-CM meeting, head priest of the makeshift Ram temple, Acharya Satyendra Das, said, “It’s a good thing. Until the prime minister and chief minister will not associate with it, the development works will not be seen on the ground.”
The Planning in Points
• The future vision of Ayodhya’s development includes modernisation, roads, infrastructure, railway station, airport and other several pending projects.
• LEA Associates South Asia Private Limited has prepared the vision document with the help of the Ayodhya Development Authority (ADA). LEA Associates is an international consultant hired for preparing Ayodhya’s vision document for overall development of Ayodhya.
• Earlier in February this year, Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath said that the state government’s proposal for an international airport in Ayodhya has been approved by the Centre.
• The Yogi government plans to make Ayodhya a spot for both pilgrimage and tourism. “Ayodhya is popular for Ram Janmabhoomi. Work in Ayodhya is going on for the construction of Lord Ram temple. Lakhs of devotees and pilgrims visit Ayodhya. The city offers an amalgamation of spirituality and tourism and both the central and state governments are working for its development,” the CM had said.
Temple Construction Mired in Controversy
Last year on August 5, PM Modi had visited Ayodhya to attend the ‘Bhoomi pujan’ at the temple site. In February 2020, the PM had announced the constitution of Shri Ram Janmbhoomi Teerth Kshetra, to oversee the construction of the Ram temple in Ayodhya.
The Lucknow Bench of the Allahabad High Court recently has sought response from the Ayodhya administration on charges that it is encroaching upon a large chunk of land illegally and forcing owners to sell their property at a cheap rate for an airport. The Bench directed the district magistrate, SDM and tehsildar concerned to appear before it on June 29 through video conferencing to explain their factual position on the allegations levelled in the petition.
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