UP government to install statues of former PM Vajpayee, Swami Vivekanand, 2 ex-Gorakhpur ‘mahants’
The Yogi Adityanath government in Uttar Pradesh has decided to install four new statues, including that of former Prime Minister Atal Behari Vajpayee, in the state.
According to special secretary, Shishir Singh, apart from Vajpayee, statues of spiritual leader Swami Vivekanand, Mahants Avaidyanath and Digvijaynath, both former MPs and head priests of Gorakhpur’s Gorakhnath temple which is now headed by Adityanath, will also be installed.
The announcement comes close on the heels of the government’s decision to install a 221 metre high bronze statue of Lord Rama in Ayodhya.
The move prompted Congress leader Karan Singh to demand a statue of Goddess Sita also come up by reducing the height of Lord Ram’s statue.
While Vajpayee’s statue would be 25 feet tall and set up in Lok Bhawan, the seat of UP government in Lucknow, the statues of remaining icons would be 12.5 feet high. The statue of Swami Vivekanand would be installed in UP Raj Bhawan and that of Mahants Avaidyanath and Digvijayanth would be put up in Gorakhpur.
Work on the project has commenced and the state government has sought a report from the district magistrates and police chiefs of Lucknow and Gorakhpur within a week on the location of these statues.
Apart from installing the tallest statue of Lord Ram in Ayodhya, the Adityanath government has also announced that it would build a statue of Lord Ram at Shringverpur, a site near Allahabad revered by the Nishad community.
Astatue of Nishadraj, the caste icon and boatman who, as per Hindu beliefs, helped Lord Ram along with his wife and brother cross the Ganga during their exile would also be built. The chief minister had allocated Rs 34 crore for the project.