The Samajwadi Party government has approved an International Ramleela Theme Park along the banks of the Sarayu in Ayodhya. The development comes a day after the Central government announced that it would construct a Ramayan Museum in the temple town.
Bahujan Samaj Party chief Mayawati questioned the “intentions” of the two parties, saying they were “linking religion with politics” for “electoral benefits.” Ms. Mayawati questioned the timing of the announcements of the two projects. She said that it was good to develop tourism in Ayodhya but questioned the intention of the two parties. She also had a word of caution for the two governments.
“If their intentions were clean, they would have started the projects much earlier… They must keep in mind that the disputed land in the Ramjanmabhoomi-Babri Masjid complex should not be affected by such constructions as the matter is sub judice in the Supreme Court.”
Ms. Mayawati said the two parties were competing for “cheap publicity” by making hollow announcements in the “absence of proper budgetary allocation” to execute the projects. A few days after Prime Minister Narendra Modi broke away from convention and attended the Dasara festival in Lucknow, where he began and concluded his speech with “Jai Sriram,” Union Tourism and Culture Minister Mahesh Sharma announced he would visit Ayodhya on Tuesday to inspect the proposed site for setting up a Ramayana Sanghralaya (Museum).
He said his visit should not be viewed in terms of politics and was to “improve tourism” in Ayodhya. The Akhilesh Yadav government gave its approval for the construction of an International Ramleela Theme Park. The decision came through a Cabinet meeting presided over by the Chief Minister here. “The completion of the project [Ramleela Theme Park[ will benefit tourism, generate employment opportunities and promote Indian Culture nationally as well as globally,” a government spokesperson said. High-quality red sandstone would be used for the project.