PM Modi to lay foundation stone for king Suheldev's statue in Uttar Pradesh
Rajbhar community members, who consider Suheldev as their icon, constitute a significant percentage of the Purvanchal population and are regarded as a politically dominant force to reckon with in the region.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi will virtually lay a foundation stone for a statue of the 11th-century warrior king Suheldev of Shravasti in Uttar Pradesh’s Bahraich, on the backward class icon’s birth anniversary on Tuesday.
Uttar Pradesh governor Anandiben Patel and chief minister Yogi Adityanath would be in Bahraich on the occasion as the state government looks to scale up the anniversary celebrations of the king, who, BJP leaders say was not given his due by past historians and governments.
CM Yogi Adityanath has ordered that functions highlighting the glory and valour of the king, who was born into a backward caste, be held in every district of the state. On the occasion of Tuesday’s event, an announcement for the beautification of Chittora lake, Shravasti, too is expected.
“King Suheldev had fought, defeated and killed the Ghaznavid general Ghazi Saiyyad Salar Masud in a famous battle held on the bank of Chittora lake in Bahraich in 1033. The battle was such that it is said that the whole of Masud’s army got eliminated in it,” a release issued by the UP government read.
The complete project will include the installation of an equestrian statue of Maharaja Suheldev and the development of various tourist amenities like a cafeteria, guest house, and a children's park, an official said.
Rajbhar community members, who consider Suheldev as their icon, constitute a significant percentage of the Purvanchal population and are regarded as the second politically dominant force to reckon with after the Yadavs in eastern Uttar Pradesh.
Suheldev Bharatiya Samaj Party (SBSP) chief and former UP minister Om Prakash Rajbhar had parted ways with the NDA and distanced himself from an event to pay tributes to Suheldev in Ghazipur ahead of the Lok Sabha polls in 2019, protesting he was not invited for the event well in time.
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After the Modi government came to power, the government took several steps to popularise Suheldev. In February 2016, BJP chief Amit Shah unveiled a statue of Suheldev and also launched a book on him in Bahraich district near the Indo-Nepal border, where the medieval king enjoys a legendary status.
The Modi government earlier released a postal stamp after Suheldev and named a superfast train, ‘The Suheldev Express’. The tri-weekly covers the breadth of India’s most populous state from Ghazipur in Purvanchal to Anand Vihar in Delhi. Suheldev was a brave and extremely religious person who had great respect for saints and Hinduism, BJP leaders said.