The Uttar Pradesh government is planning to light 9 lakh earthen lamps or “diyas” by the the Saryu riverbank in Ayodhya on Wednesday, a day before Diwali. The government says this will be a new world record. Last year, nearly six lakh “diyas” were lit up by volunteers.
This is the fifth year of festivities in Ayodhya by the Yogi Adityanath government and the last before the crucial state elections early next year.
“Apart from nine lakh diyas at the Ram ki Paidi ghat, we have also arranged smaller such programmers across the town. The effort is to wish for a better future for Ayodhya and the whole world,” said Nitish Kumar, District Magistrate, Ayodhya.
A grand Ram temple is being built in Ayodhya on directions of the Supreme Court and it is likely to be completed just before the 2024 national elections.
A lot of the BJP’s campaign for the state polls is expected to be centred around the temple whose foundation stone was laid by Prime Minister Narendra Modi and the Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister last year.
On August 5 last year, the Prime Minister laid the first brick for the top court-mandated temple in Ayodhya at a mega ceremony, bringing to fruition the BJP’s ”mandir” movement that defined its politics for three decades.
After formation of the Yogi Adityanath government in Uttar Pradesh, Deepotsav has been a yearly affair.
For this year’s mega event, the administration has made extensive security arrangements. A lot of barricading has been done around the event site and security has been deployed from the Deepotsav venue to the other side of the Saryu riverbank.