Yogi Adityanath welcomes artistes dressed as Lord Ram, Lakshman and Sita. (file photo)
Ayodhya will get a statue of Lord Ram which will become a part of its identity, Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath said on the morning of Diwali, confirming last year's announcement. There, however, was no fresh detail for which right-wing groups were waiting.
"There will be a statue of Lord Ram here that would be a tourist attraction. Its particulars will be decided according to the land," Yogi Adityanath said in Ayodhya, where he had gone for Diwali celebrations last evening.
"The statue will be placed indoors, inside a temple. It will be a grand statue and it will become a signpost for Ayodhya," the Chief Minister added in an indication that this will be another mega project like the Sardar Patel statue in Gujarat.
Regarding the planned temple at the disputed Ramjanmabhoomi site, Yogi Adityanath said, "The temple was here and will be here but whatever happens will be within the parameters of the Constitution".
The Uttar Pradesh government had announced its intention to build a landmark statue of Lord Ram last year, but there has been no progress since. The government is yet to acquire land for the statue, which will be built through partial crowd-funding.
The buzz about the statue started in tandem with renewed demands for a Ram temple in Ayodhya.
The Chief Minister, who was expected to make an announcement yesterday, at the grand finale of the three-day Diwali festival in Ayodhya, however, skipped the issue. Instead, he spoke of development in the temple town, underscoring that the government will build an airport and a medical college there.
While the airport will be named after Lord Ram, the medical college will be named after Raja Dasrath, the father of Lord Ram in the epic Ramayana.