Somewhere in Ayodhya....

Chief minister Aditya Nath Yogi paid obeisance at the makeshift temple of Ram Lalla, thus becoming the first UP CM since Rajnath Singh in 2002 to visit the Ramjanmabhoomi. Though media was not allowed near the site, Yogi offered prayers at sanctum sanctorum after offering prayers at Hanumangarhi. On his arrival at Hanumangarhi, the CM was greeted with chants of `Jai Shri Ram' and `Ram Lalla Hum Aayenge, Mandir Wahin Banaayenge'.

Hanumangarhi priest Sant Dharamdas welcomed the CM on his arrival. In the temple, Rajya Sabha member and erstwhile prominent face of the Ayodhya movement Vinay Katiyar welcomed the CM.

After spending about 15 minutes at the temple, Yogi went to Ramjanmabhoomi to offer prayers at the makeshift Ram Lalla temple. Yogi is only the third CM to offer prayers at the temple. Rajasthan governor Kalyan Singh was the first one to offer prayers in Ayodhya way back in 1991 as the CM, along with his other cabinet colleagues. A year later, the disputed structure was demolished by frenzied kar sewaks.

For the past over 15 years, the BJP has maintained a deliberate attempt to remain at a safe distance from the issue. Even Prime Minister Narendra Modi had remained silent on the issue.

Unlike Modi, Yogi has shown no hitch or tried to maintain distance from any of the contentious issues even after becoming the CM. He spoke at length on the floor of the house about RSS's functioning and the work it has done in the country, to counter Opposition charges.Before that, he made a noticeable presence at a Vishwa Hindu Parishad programme at Scientific Convention Centre in Lucknow. The CM not only attended ABVP's programme in Niralanagar some time ago but also urged its members to come out with a strong proposal about reforms in education which the government would look into.

On Wednesday , after janmabhoomi, Yogi went to Digambar Akhara, whose earlier head priest Ramchandra Paramhans and Yogi's guru Mahant Avaidyanath had a great rapport when both were alive and on the forefront of the Ram temple movement.

Chief minister Aditya Nath Yogi  announced development initiatives worth Rs.350 crore in Ayodhya, including Rs.50 crore earmarked for construction of roads in the temple town. He also said that beautification work of Ram Ki Paidi would be done and efforts would be made to ensure Saryu water reached all major ghats of the town. He would direct irrigation department officials to prepare a plan, the CM said.

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