Ayodhya: Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath Wednesday said his government was building temples through money that earlier governments spent on “building the boundaries of kabristans (graveyards)”.
“The public showed those people who love kabristans their place. They today see us spending money on building temples and taking Indian culture forward,” Adityanath said while addressing the gathering at the Deepotsav in Ayodhya.
The chief minister also invoked Hindu pride and said the community was unsafe earlier, but today the very same people who hurt Hindus are in awe of the community.
“I don’t need to remind you of the way kar sevaks were killed in Ayodhya by the Mulayam Singh Yadav government 30 years ago. Today, nobody dares touch a karyakarta at work,” he said.
The chief minister also reminded people to wear masks and practice social distancing, but added that they could do it from tomorrow. “You may celebrate Deepotsav today but from tomorrow, doh gaj doori mask hai zaroori,” he said.
Uttar Pradesh Deputy Chief Minister Keshav Prasad Maurya went a step further and invoked the old kar sevak slogan: “Ayodhya abhi hamari hai, lekin Kashi Mathura baki hai.
“Would you have imagined a Ram Mandir here had you not voted us to power? No. No other government would’ve done it,” he said in his address. “Today, we’re making a mandir in Ayodhya, and you’ll see how grand Kashi Vishwanath becomes.”
State BJP chief Swatantra Narayan Singh, also present on the occasion, said earlier governments worked for just one religion.
“We’ve changed that. Uttar Pradesh today has no discrimination,” he said. “It is safe for women who would earlier lock themselves in their homes at 5 pm.”
Development for Ayodhya and Uttar Pradesh
Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath also announced the extension of Pradhan Mantri Gareeb Anna Ayojana, which was to expire in November, until Holi next year. He said 15 crore people in UP will benefit from the decision.
Union Minister of Tourism and Culture, G. Kishan Reddy, said five crore people will start pouring into Ayodhya to celebrate Diwali within the next five years.
“We’re developing an international airport here. And want to make Ayodhya the biggest religious tourism destination in the world,” he said. “When people come to visit India, they’ll make it a point to visit Ayodhya.
“Uttar Pradesh will become a pilgrimage hub. 500 temples are under development currently, of which 300 have been completed,” he added.
Disclosure: ThePrint is in Ayodhya as a guest of the UP government for the event.