Delhi's free pilgrimage scheme now includes Ayodhya, set to resume in a month
Ayodhya is now included in ‘Mukhya Mantri Teerth Yatra Yojna’, the Delhi government's free pilgrimage scheme for senior citizens of the national capital, chief minister Arvind Kejriwal announced on Wednesday. He added that the pilgrimage scheme, which was stopped for more than a year owing to the coronavirus disease (Covid-19) pandemic, is likely to resume within a month as the situation gradually normalises.
Kejriwal had promised a day ago that the temple town of Ayodhya will be included in the Delhi government's free pilgrimage scheme for aged people. On Tuesday, Kejriwal visited the Ram Janmabhoomi and the Hanumangarhi temples in Ayodhya and said, “I was fortunate that I got the chance to bow before Ram Lalla, and I wish everyone must get this chance.”
The Delhi chief minister vowed that he will do everything in his capability to “make more and more people have darshan here.”
Under the Chief Minister’s Teerth Yatra Yojana (chief minister’s pilgrimage scheme), the residents of Delhi can travel to pilgrimage sites such as Vaishno Devi, Rameshwaram, Dwarka Puri, Haridwar, Rishikesh, Mathura, and Vrindavan free-of-cost.
Meanwhile, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) reacted to the Delhi chief minister's trip to Ayodhya and indicated that it was just a "political gimmick" ahead of the upcoming Uttar Pradesh assembly polls. Speaking to Hindustan Times, Ved Prakash Gupta, the BJP MLA from Ayodhya Sadar, said, “AAP was earlier opposing the Ram Mandir. The Delhi chief minister had even suggested that a university be made instead of the Ram temple in Ayodhya. Now they are talking about Lord Ram and seeking his blessings.”
Continuing his critique, the BJP leader said, “People are not fools. They are well aware of the divisive politics of the AAP."
Notably, Arvind Kejriwal-led AAP has announced that it would contest the state assembly polls in Uttar Pradesh, slated to be held early next year. The party has said that it would contest all the 403 assembly seats in the 2022 elections.