UP legislators offer prayers at Ram temple in Ayodhya

| | Ayodhya/Lucknow
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UP legislators offer prayers at Ram temple in Ayodhya

Monday, 12 February 2024 | PNS | Ayodhya/Lucknow

Led by Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath and Assembly Speaker Satish Mahana, over 325 legislators of Uttar Pradesh, barring those from Samajwadi Party, offered prayers to Lord Ram at his newly-consecrated grand temple at Ram Janmabhoomi complex in Ayodhya on Sunday.

Grateful for this spiritual journey, the legislators expressed their appreciation for Chief Minister Yogi for extending this opportunity to them.

Along with the ministers and legislators from the ruling coalition, members of Bahujan Samaj Party, Rashtriya Lok Dal and Congress also joined in the collective reverence for Lord Ram.

Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath, who joined the legislators in Ayodhya after arriving from Pune, visited the Ram temple with them and paid obeisance, as people in the temple complex chanted ‘Jai Shri Ram’.

In a post on X, Yogi Adityanath said he along with his colleagues in the government offered prayers at the ‘grand and divine temple of Prabhu Shri Ram Lalla’.

In a 14-minute video shared on X by Yogi Adityanath, some legislators, including Assembly Speaker Satish Mahana, were seen singing the bhajan ‘Raghupati Raghav Raja Ram’. Some legislators sat on the stairs of the temple and posed for group photographs.

Enthusiasm was visible among Ayodhya’s residents who showered flowers as the legislators arrived in the temple town in 10 buses. Wives of some of the legislators also accompanied them.

Some of the leaders who visited the Ram temple on Sunday included Raghuraj Pratap Singh of Jansatta Dal Loktantrik, OP Rajbhar of Suheldev Bhartiya Samaj Party, Aradhana Mishra of Congress, Umashankar Singh of BSP and Rajpal Singh Baliyan of RLD.

 Speaking to reporters after visiting the Ram temple, Deputy Chief Minister Keshav Prasad Maurya said, “Got the much-awaited and divine ‘darshan’ of Lord Ram Lalla. May the devotees of Lord Ram get His blessings, and in 2024 (Lok Sabha elections), the (Narendra) Modi government is formed (at the Centre), and 400-plus seats are bagged. May the figure of 300-plus seats be achieved (by the Bharatiya Janata Party) in UP in 2027 (assembly polls).”

Speaking to reporters in Ayodhya, Principal Secretary (Home) Sanjay Prasad said the group did not visit the Hanuman Garhi temple located near the Ram Mandir “due to paucity of time and owing to the crowd there”.

On the Samajwadi Party declining the trip, Deputy Chief Minister Brajesh Pathak and Maurya said it was because they had ordered firing on ‘Ram bhakts’ and this was part of their minority appeasement politics.

For many, this pilgrimage marked a historic milestone, culminating in the realisation of a dream cherished for centuries, the construction of a grand temple of Lord Ram. The unity displayed by the government and legislators from across the political spectrum was hailed as a momentous occasion, attributing it to Chief Minister Yogi’s visionary leadership. Such camaraderie, they noted, would be etched in the annals of history, alongside the contributions of Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath.

Reflecting on the profound significance of the pilgrimage, the legislators expressed overwhelming emotions and shared anecdotes of their anticipation leading up to the journey. Some took the opportunity to lament the absence of Samajwadi Party and its leader Akhilesh Yadav, criticising their decision not to partake in the darshan of Lord Ram.

In interviews with the media, legislators from various parties conveyed their sentiments of reverence and gratitude. Congress MLA Aradhana Mishra reminisced about her longstanding connection with Awadh, considering the pilgrimage as an auspicious and deeply personal moment.

BSP MLA Umashankar Singh commended the government’s arrangements and emphasised his party’s commitment to secularism, denouncing any politicisation of the pilgrimage.

NISHAD Party president and UP minister Sanjay Nishad described the occasion as monumental, underscoring the emotional significance of reconnecting with Lord Ram after many years.

Expressing gratitude, BJP MLA Ritesh Gupta said, “I am fortunate to get the opportunity to have the darshan of Lord Ram Lalla. After the Pran Pratishtha ceremony, everyone wanted to visit Ayodhya and have a darshan. Today, because of Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath, all the MLAs will be travelling to Ayodhya together.”

BJP MLA Sarita Bhadauria said, “I consider myself very lucky that I got the opportunity to go to Ayodhya. I am fortunate enough to get the darshan of Ram Lalla. Our whole generation is lucky.”

RLD leader Rajpal Balyan acknowledged the decision as good, leading them together for the visit. When asked about the Samajwadi Party’s refusal to visit Ram temple in Ayodhya, he responded, “They had refused even when there was a conference in Varanasi involving leaders from across India. If they are still not going today, it is their decision. We, being Hindus and followers of our faith, are going today.”

Jansatta Dal Loktantrik MLA Raghuraj Pratap Singh said, “Just look at the happiness on each and every face here. It is a big honour not only for me, but all the legislators (who are going to Ayodhya)."

Speaking to reporters before leaving from Lucknow, Speaker Satish Mahana said, “This is a matter of faith. Nobody could be forced to visit the darbaar of any God. If a person has not come due to various reasons, then it is his matter.”

He expressed his joy at being part of the Shri Ram Janmabhoomi Mukti Andolan.

The buses carrying the legislators left for the Ram Janmabhoomi temple from Vidhan Bhawan on Sunday morning. The legislators were chanting Jai Shree Ram as they gathered outside the Vidhan Bhawan before leaving for Ayodhya.

Arrangements for the Ayodhya visit were made by Minister of State for Transport (Independent Charge) Dayashankar Singh, an official statement said.

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