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BJP plans to revive Ayodhya-Kashi-Mathura narrative with grand Diwali celebrations

Yogi Adityanath-led government in Uttar Pradesh has decided to make special arrangements to celebrate the festival of lights in the three Hindu pilgrimage destinations.

india Updated: Oct 13, 2017 12:18 IST
Haidar Naqvi
Haidar Naqvi
Hindustan Times, Kanpur
BJP government in Uttar Pradesh lines up grand Diwal celebrations in Ayodhya, Varanasi and Mathura. (Getty Images/iStockphoto)

Yogi Adityanath-led BJP government in Uttar Pradesh has earmarked two more Hindu pilgrimage destinations-- Varanasi and Mathura-- along with Ayodhya for grand Diwal celebrations this year.

The Bharatiya Janata Party’s state executive which met in Kanpur on Thursday announced the government’s plan to celebrate the festival of lights with additional fanfare in Varanasi – the parliamentary constituency of Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

The state executive also reiterated that Adityanath would be in Ayodhya on the eve of Diwali on October 18, where the celebrations would be a “historic spectacle”.

Senior BJP leaders later said Mathura, the birthplace of Lord Krishna, will also witness a special Diwali spectacle this year. All temples and prominent buildings in the city will be decorated.

In Varanasi, additional highlight of the celebration would be an impressive Dev Deepawali, which is celebrated in the temple town 15 days after the Diwali festival. People light up ghee-filled earthen lamps at the ghats.

BJP leaders said the events will bring Ayodhya-Kashi (Varanasi)-Mathura back into the party’s political narratives.

The BJP gained political prominence in the Hindi heartland by launching massive mass movements in mid-80’s for building temples in the three towns.

This year’s state budget had a special mention of Ayodhya, Varanasi and Mathura as Rs 1,240 crore were earmarked for the Ramayana, Buddhist and Krishna circuits.

The BJP’s Ayodhya-Kashi-Mathura push assumes significance as Adityanath pledged the party all the 80 seats from the state in the 2019 Lok Sabha elections.

The state executive meeting also discussed strategies to blunt the opposition’s attack on the Modi-led Union government over economic slowdown after demonetisation of high-value currency and the GST rollout.

The party would go to the people at micro-level, particularly among the poor and Dalits, to create awareness on central and state government’s public welfare schemes.

“GST has been implemented for a greater cause and added 35% extra revenue to UP’s kitty. Unlike other parties, we will not be complacent or sit back on laurels,” said state BJP president Mahendra Nath Pandey.

The CM announced the launch of one-district-one -product plan to boost micro and small enterprises in the state.

Under the plan, the government would encourage unique business feature of various districts.

It was also decided that loan waiver for 86 lakh farmers, 97% clearance of sugarcane farmers’ dues and higher minimum support price to farmers would be the party’s selling points in the run-up to the Lok Sabha polls.

Pandey said the way dues of sugarcane farmers were cleared, it set an example.

“States like Maharashtra are asking how did we do it,” he said.

“Our achievements will be communicated to the people in the best possible way. We will tell the people how this government did not compromise with the interest of the people,” he said.

The party’s strategy for the upcoming urban local body polls, which will be the first major test for the BJP government after it assumed office in March, was also chalked out in the meeting.

First Published: Oct 13, 2017 12:01 IST