Sri Sri to meet Yogi today, Ay­o­d­hya seers to­mor­row

Ef­forts at any level are wel­come, says chief min­is­ter

Hindustan Times (Lucknow) - - Front Page - Umesh Raghu­van­shi uraghu­van­shi@hin­dus­tan­times.com

LUC­KNOW: All eyes are on the pro­posed meet­ing be­tween chief min­is­ter Yogi Adityanath and Art of Liv­ing founder Sri Sri Ravi Shankar on Wed­nes­day and his (Shankar’s) visit to Ay­o­d­hya to hold talks with seers and find a so­lu­tion to the Ram tem­ple is­sue.

“Fi­nal touches are be­ing given to the pro­gramme. Ravi Shankar will meet the CM in Luc­know on Wed­nes­day as part of his ‘me­di­a­tion mis­sion’. He will visit Ay­o­d­hya on Thurs­day to hold talks with seers on the tem­ple is­sue,” sources said.

Ravi Shankar’s meet­ing with the CM as­sumes sig­nif­i­cance as it comes in the back­drop of lat­ter’s state­ment wel­com­ing the me­di­a­tion process. “Ef­forts at any level are wel­come,” Yogi said here on Tues­day be­fore leav­ing for Ay­o­d­hya to launch the BJP’s cam­paign for civic elec­tions.

“In In­dia, noth­ing can be un­der­taken or ac­com­plished with­out the men­tion of Lord Ram. He rep­re­sents our faith and is the fo­cal point of all the be­liefs in In­dia,” he told a news agency.

Shankar’s Ay­o­d­hya visit is be­ing viewed as a fol­low up ex­er­cise to fur­ther the me­di­a­tion process.

“Seers from Ay­o­d­hya have al­ready met Ravi Shankar in Ban­ga­lore. His visit to Ay­o­d­hya will be a fol­low up of these meet­ings,” said a re­tired IAS of­fi­cer Surya Pratap Singh, who has been ar­rang­ing meet­ings be­tween Ay­o­d­hya seers with the Art of Liv­ing founder.

Though some seers from Ay­o­d­hya and rep­re­sen­ta­tives of the All-In­dia Mus­lim Per­sonal Law Board have met Shankar, his ef­forts for me­di­a­tion have not found many tak­ers.

Crit­i­cis­ing ef­forts for me­di­a­tion, pres­i­dent of Akhil Bharatiya Akhara Par­ishad Ma­hant Naren­dra Giri said: “Ravi Shankar is not a saint. He runs an NGO and should stay happy with it. He should not med­dle with the rec­on­cil­i­a­tion process. Such peo­ple try to get pub­lic at­ten­tion.”

As the Supreme Court will be­gin hear­ing of fi­nal ar­gu­ments on Ay­o­d­hya land dis­pute on De­cem­ber 5 (a day be­fore the 25th an­niver­sary of de­mo­li­tion of Babri Masjid) the fo­cus has now shifted to the tem­ple is­sue.

Adityanath has been un­der­lin­ing the im­por­tance of Ram tem­ple in the last few weeks.

Yogi had at­tended cel­e­bra­tions in Ay­o­d­hya on the eve of Di­wali and his gov­ern­ment’s first bud­get al­lo­cated Rs 1,240 crore for the pro­mo­tion of re­li­gious tourism with in­tro­duc­tion of ‘Swadesh Dar­shan Yo­jana’ through schemes to de­velop Ra­mayan Cir­cuit, Bud­dhist Cir­cuit and Kr­ishna Cir­cuit.

An ad­di­tional Rs 800 crore was al­lo­cated for “prasad yo­jana’ to de­velop in­fra­struc­ture fa­cil­i­ties at Ay­o­d­hya, Mathura and Varanasi.

Sri Sri also met seers in Mathura on Tues­day.

DEEPAK GUPTA/HT

CM Yogi Adityanath launched BJP’s civic poll cam­paign from Ay­o­d­hya on Tues­day. >>See Page 4

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