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A day after framing of charges against BJP leaders in Babri case, Yogi Adityanath in Ayodhya today

Yogi Adityanath’s visit comes nearly two-and-a-half months after the Supreme Court’s suggestion that the Ayodhya dispute be resolved amicably.

india Updated: May 31, 2017 11:34 IST
Umesh Raghuvanshi
Umesh Raghuvanshi
Hindustan Times, Ayodhya
Yogi Adityanath,Ayodhya,UP CM
Uttar Pradesh CM Yogi Adityanath offers prayers at Sarayu river in Ayodhya.(HT Photo/Deepak Gupta)

Hundreds of devotees welcomed Uttar Pradesh chief minister Yogi Adityanath with chants of ‘Jai Sri Ram’ at Ayodhya’s Hanuman Garhi temple on Wednesday morning.

Flanked by priests of Ayodhya, the chief minister clad in his traditional saffron robes performed prayers at the temple, the oldest dedicated to Hindu god Hanuman.

He is likely to next visit the makeshift Ram Lalla temple at the disputed Babri Masjid site.

Clinging on scaffolds and roof tops, people of Ayodhya chanted ‘Jai Sri Ram’ and ‘Mandir Wahi Banaange’ (we will construct the temple at the same site).

“It is a historic moment for Ayodhya to witness a CM dressed in saffron clothes performing prayer at Hanuman Garhi temple,” said Sanjay Kumar, a local resident.

Much significance is being attached to chief minister’s visit in the backdrop of the shifting focus on the Ayodhya issue with a special Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) court summoning senior Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leaders and others for framing of charges for allegedly conspiring to demolish the 16th century Babri Masjid.

Hundreds of Hindu zealots scaled the disputed Babri Masjid in 1992 and knocked it down, triggering a cycle of communal violence that claimed more than 3,000 lives. The controversial razing was the culmination of a festering dispute between Muslims and many Hindus, who believe the Mughal emperor Babur razed a temple at the site believed to be the birthplace of Hindu god, Ram. The demolition also buoyed the BJP to power in Uttar Pradesh and in other Hindi heartland states.

Adityanath’s visit comes nearly two-and-a-half months after the Supreme Court’s suggestion that the Ayodhya dispute be resolved amicably with Chief Justice of India JS Khehar offering to mediate to help resolve the matter.

The chief minister will also attend the week-long birth celebrations of Ram Janmabhoomi Nyas president Mahant Nritya Gopal Das and meet seers in the town. The Nyas is a trust dedicated to promoting and overseeing the construction of the temple in Ayodhya.

“Yes, the chief minister will attend Mahant Nritya Gopal Das’ birth celebrations here,” Vishwa Hindu Parishad spokesperson Sharad Sharma told the Hindustan Times on phone.

Led by Adityanath, the BJP government took charge in the state after the recent assembly election. After the installation of the first BJP government in the state in 1991, CM Kalyan Singh had also led his ministry for a ‘darshan’ of Ram Lala at the disputed site.

After landing at Faizabad on Wednesday, the Adityanath will reach the Hanuman Garhi Temple and later go for a ‘darshan’ of Ram Lala. He will also visit the ‘Ram Ki Pairi’ at the Saryu and will interact with BJP workers and office bearers at Awadh University.

The chief minister will also review development projects with the officers there. Adityanath will visit the Digambar Akhara and Deen Bandhu Eye Hospital as well.

(With inputs from Pawan Dixit)

First Published: May 31, 2017 08:24 IST