Mum on Mandir, Yogi Renames Faizabad to Sri Ayodhya, Promises Airport in Lord Ram's Name
The CM’s announcement, which he himself had described as “good news”, is being largely seen as a Hindutva push by the BJP before next year's Lok Sabha elections.
UP CM Yogi Adityanath performs 'arti' of the aristises dressed as Lord Ram, Sita and Laxman after their arrival for the Deepotsav in Ayodhya on Tuesday. (PTI Photo)
Ayodhya: Faizabad district will be renamed as Sri Ayodhya, Uttar Pradesh chief minister Yogi Adityanath announced on Tuesday but remained silent on the construction of the Ram Temple in a Diwali speech from the holy city revered by millions of Hindus as the birthplace of Lord Ram.
Continuing the renaming spree that started with changing the name of Allahabad to Prayagraj, the UP CM said that the Faizabad district, of which Ayodhya city is a part, would be known by its “original name”.
Addressing a huge gathering comprising Hindu seers who chanted “mandir ka nirman karo (build the temple),” Adityanath also announced that his government will build an airport in Ayodhya and name it after Lord Ram and a medical college will be named after his father, Dashratha.
“We have come to assure you that no power can do injustice with Ayodhya. Ayodhya is a symbol of our 'aan, baan aur shaan' (honour, pride and prestige). Every Indian knows what Ayodhya wants,” he said, alluding to the construction of the Ram Mandir at the disputed Babri Masjid-Ram Janmabhoomi site.
Adityanath was speaking on the occasion of "Deepotsav" on Diwali eve.
The CM’s announcement, which he himself had described as “good news”, is being largely seen as a Hindutva push by the BJP before next year's Lok Sabha elections. It comes amid a growing clamour from BJP leaders and members of Sangh outfits for the Centre to bring a law to facilitate the construction of Ram Temple, citing “frustration” in the delay in hearings in the Supreme Court.
He spoke about his numerous visits to Ayodhya and asked his audience if there was any other chief minister who had travelled to the town as frequently as him. “You must acknowledge the change Ayodhya is going through,” he said.
Responding to criticism of his renaming spree, he said a name holds a lot of significance in this country. "Why are those protesting the change not named Raavan or Duryodhan? Why didn't their parents name them 'Raavan' and 'Duryodhan' in that case?” he asked.
Sharing stage with the CM at the ceremony was South Korean first lady Kim Jung-sook, who earlier laid the foundation stone for the Korean queen Heo Hwang-ok memorial park in the city.
BJP leaders had hyped up the CM’s Diwali-eve speech over the last few days, with speculation that he could announce a mega statue of Lord Ram to assuage the demands of those pushing for a law on Ram Temple.
Mahant Nritya Gopal Das, head of the Ram Janmabhoomi Nyas, was also on the stage at Tuesday’s event. He was the one who had pitched for changing Faizabad district’s name to Sri Ayodhya. The VHP had supported his demand.
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