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Diwali celebrations in UP: Faizabad is now Ayodhya, says Yogi Adityanath; new airport to be named after Lord Rama

In his latest bid to push for "Ram Rajya" ahead of the 2019 Lok Sabha election, Uttar Pradesh chief minister Yogi Adityanath announced on Tuesday that Faizabad district will henceforth be known as Ayodhya.

"Ayodhya is a symbol of our honour, pride and prestige," he said in the pilgrim town, about 120 kilometres from state capital Lucknow.

"Earlier, people were scared to even talk about Ayodhya. We should not limit our gods to mere chants and slogans," Adityanath said. "Nobody can do injustice to Ayodhya." Adityanath was speaking at the event 'Deepotsav' on the eve of Diwali. He further made two other major announcements.

"We will be constructing a new medical college in Ayodhya. It will be named after Raja Dasharatha (Lord Rama's father). We will also construct an airport in Ayodhya named Purshottam Bhagwan Ram Airport," he said.

South Korean first lady Kim Jung-sook was also present at the event. Prior to Adityanath's speech, Kim Jung-sook spoke about the historic and cultural ties between India and South Korea.

"I am happy to celebrate Diwali in Ayodhya. Two thousand years ago, the princess Suri Ratna of Ayodhya traveled to Korea, and married the prince there. This link forms the cornerstone of historical and civilisational bonds between India and the Republic of Korea," she said.

Earlier in the day, Adityanath and the South Korean first lady inaugurated the Queen Huh Memorial at Queen Huh Park in Ayodhya. They were welcomed by Indian and South Korean artists who danced on traditional songs.

As part of the mega celebrations in Ayodhya, over three lakh diyas were lit on the banks of River Sarayu to create a world record. 

Adityanath and Kim Jung-sook later performed "aarti" on the banks of the river.

Adityanath's announcement comes days after his cabinet cleared a proposal to rename Allahabad as Prayagraj. Despite protests, Uttar Pradesh health minister Sidharth Nath Singh had said on 16 October, “Allahabad will be called Prayagraj from today," according to News18.

With inputs from PTI

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Updated Date: Nov 06, 2018 19:20:41 IST