Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath's message to Ayodhya on the eve of Diwali was not one the right-wing groups were expecting. Instead of any momentous announcement on the Ram temple, or even the planned statue of Lord Ram, he spoke of development — plans for an airport and a medical college — which would be named after Lord Ram. Even the district of Faizabad will be re-named Ayodhya, the Chief Minister said.
Underscoring that the programmes were meant to ensure that Lord Ram's legacy is acknowledged, Yogi Adityanath, said, "I want to make sure that Lord Ram's legacy lives forever".
There was speculation that the state government would announce details about the planned statue, which, some said, could be as tall as the statue of Sardar Patel in Gujarat. But with months to go for the Lok Sabha elections, the BJP came under massive opposition attack over the Rs 2,500 crore statue, which was inaugurated by Prime Minister Narendra Modi last week.
While the Congress pointed out that Sardar Patel had banned the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh, the ideological mentor of the BJP, Mamata Banerjee said the iconic leader never wanted to divide the people of the country.