Sri Sri to meet Yogi today, Ayodhya seers tomorrow
Efforts at any level are welcome, says chief minister
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.
CM Yogi Adityanath launched BJP’s civic poll campaign from Ayodhya on Tuesday. >>See Page 4