Yogi Adityanath's record-setting Diwali: In Ayodhya, UP CM likely to bring up issue of Ram statue, light 2 lakh diyas

In Uttar Pradesh, this diwali will be a celebration of not just Lord Ram returning from his exile, but also the BJP returning to power in the state after a 'vanvaas' of 15 years. The state officials have grand plans ahead of Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath's visit to Ayodhya on Wednesday.

The district administration has cancelled the fireworks scheduled on the Diwali eve and stepped up security in the city. Faizabad District Magistrate Anil Kumar told PTI that the firework programme has been cancelled due to security reasons. Adityanath is scheduled to visit the city on Wednesday when a grand firework was scheduled on the banks of Saryu River. Media reported that the government wishes to set a Guinness Record of lighting at least 2 lakh diyas this Diwali.

Preparations for registering the historic event are in full swing and orders have been placed for the diyas. Adityanath will welcome the Ram Shobha Yatra of the ongoing Ram Leela in Ram Katha Park. Reports also said that Adityanath is expected to announce developmental projects worth Rs 133 crore and will announce free electricity connection to a total of 108 poor families.

According to News18, most of the diyas that will be used for the mega event are being manufactured at Kumhartola of Harsinghpur. As a part of the plan, a diya will be placed on every square metre. An event company from Gujarat has been specially roped in by the authorities to ensure smooth flow of the event. In addition, some preparations have been made to divert the flow of the wind for five minutes, in order to make the world record. The trial run of the event will be held on Tuesday at the banks of the Saryu River.

Ever since he became the chief minister, Adityanath has paid special attention to Ayodhya. Apart from dedicating several government projects to the city, he has also raised the political tempers by visiting the disputed site of Babri Masjid-Ram Janambhoomi.

The Adityanath government, as reported earlier, plans to install a statue of Lord Rama on banks of the River Saryu. The statue will be installed only after clearance from the National Green Tribunal, Principal Secretary Tourism Awanish Awasthi said. Adityanath has visited Ayodhya at least twice after assuming office and launched several projects worth crores of rupees for the city.

Prominent building and ghats will also be illuminated to attract tourists. The objective of the entire programme will be to promote Ayodhya, the birth place of Lord Rama, as a tourist destination, PTI reported.

A heritage walk, a yatra reminiscing return of Lord Ram to Ayodhya, and launch of several schemes by chief minister and other dignitaries will be part of the programme, the officer said. A grand "aarti" of River Saryu will also be performed by the chief minister and the governor and later a laser show will be held on the banks of the river. During the programme, Ramlila will be staged by artists from Indonesia and Thailand.

Yogi Adityanaths record-setting Diwali: In Ayodhya, UP CM likely to bring up issue of Ram statue, light 2 lakh diyas

A file image of Uttar Pradesh chief minister Yogi Adityanath. Reuters

The Union tourism ministry has sanctioned Rs 133.70 crores for making Ayodhya a tourism hub. The money sanctioned will be utilised in renovating ghats, including Guptar Ghat, where Lord Rama had taken 'Samadhi', installing CCTV cameras, making police booths, construction of guest houses for tourists and auditorium at Digamgar Akhara. Good facilities should be provided to tourists, the governor said.

"On Diwali, a grand programme will be held in Ayodhya in which sadhu-saints will also participate. I will also invite the governor for this," Adityanath has said recently in Gorakhpur. The budget presented by the Yogi government, which came to power in March, had special mention of Ayodhya, Varanasi and Mathura, earmarking Rs 1,240 crore for the Ramayan, Buddhist and Krishna circuits in these cities.

The budget presented by the Yogi government, which came to power in March, had special mention of Ayodhya, Varanasi and Mathura, earmarking Rs 1,240 crore for the Ramayan, Buddhist and Krishna circuits in these cities.

Faizabad SSP Subhash Singh Baghel is keeping himself busy round the clock arranging security system in town. "The Ayodhya city divided in three security zones, we are keeping the security of the red security zone where the disputed site of Ram Janambhoomi falls on the top priority in our security arrangements," he told PTI.

The security forces have been put on high alert, he added. About 20,000 security personals have been deployed at all the vital places, guarding the city round the clock. Special arrangements have been made to provide fullproof security to the procession of Lord Rama including at the halipad for the chopper ('Pushpak Viman') that will ferry Ram to Ayodhya.

About 2,000 intelligence persons and police commandos in the same number armed with automatic weapons and electronic devices have been deployed all over Ayodhya.

SSP Baghel said, "The Babri site is already under the guard of para military forces, we have also deployed rapid action force along with provincial armed constabulary in the second yellow security zone and civil police and home guards in third greed security zone."

Along with guarding the land, the Faizabad police have also tried to cover the river Saryu under the security cordon. PAC divers and sharpshooters armed with night vision devices and long range riffles have been deployed in the river on combat boats to ensure security during the programmes to be held on the banks of river Saryu. Baghel said all the security systems are activated, and the personals are on guard round the clock.

Meanwhile, the administration conducted a full dress reharseal today of the procession of the home-coming of Lord Rama from exile.

In order to make the event a success, students from RML Awadh University Faizabad have been roped in as volunteers, reports said. According to the University administration, around 2,000 students will be working from a day before to a day after the event as volunteers and will help in making the event a success.

Earlier in May, the Uttar Pradesh government had re-started popular Ram Leela in Ayodhya at the Ayodhya Research Centre, after a hiatus of 17 months. The practice of holding Ram Leela in Ayodhya was started by the then chief minister Mulayam Singh Yadav in May 2004 but was stopped during Akhilesh Yadav’s regime after the culture department refused to grant aid for the same.

The Yogi government has re-started the shows after sanctioning a handsome budget for the Ram Leela. Adityanath has visited Ayodhya at least twice after assuming office and launched several projects worth crores of rupees for the city.

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Updated Date: Oct 18, 2017 11:12:53 IST

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