Even as the Uttar Pradesh government's decision to construct a Ram statue in Ayodhya sparked off again debates on the controversial Ram temple issue, Union minister of state for culture Mahesh Sharma said Ram Rajya meant holistic development of the state.
Said Sharma to THE WEEK, “The Union government and the state government of Uttar Pradesh have never discriminated anyone on the basis of caste, creed and religion. That has never been our intention. It is Ayodhya that has given the concept of Ram Rajya and the concept is not temple-centric.”
Sharma said he was with Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath at the Diwali event organised by the state government in Ayodhya last night. “No politics should be seen behind Adityanath’s efforts to develop the temple town. The Union government will support him in all his efforts. All negative discussions on Ayodhya should end,” said Sharma.
The Uttar Pradesh government launched the three-day ‘Deepotsav’ celebrations in Ayodhya on October 18. More than a lakh earthen lamps were lit up along the banks of Sarayu river, a tributary of the Ganges. A chopper was spruced up as the mythological ‘Pushpak Viman’ and it descended on the Ram Katha Park where the event was organised. There was also a grand laser show.
Adityanath said nobody should see political designs behind his efforts to grow Ayodhya. He said, “Ayodhya remained neglected and was constantly attacked. But it will be no longer like that. We have launched schemes worth Rs 133 crore in Ayodhya.”