LUCKNOW: Uttar Pradesh CM Yogi Adityanath called a high profile meeting on Monday just ahead of his visit to Ayodhya for Diwali celebrations on November 6. Both his deputies, senior cabinet ministers and the party's state chief were invited to the meeting about which speculations were rife that the CM could make an important announcement.
According to highly placed sources, Deputy UP chief ministers Keshav Prasad Maurya and Dinesh Sharma, and UP BJP chief Mahendra Nath Pandey were present in the meeting. CM Adityanath is expected to make a big announcement during the 'Deepotsav' in Ayodhya too, to give a push to the Ram Mandir issue in the run-up to the 2019 Lok Sabha Elections, the sources said.
In the mean time, amid the rising demand for Ram Temple in the temple town, Yogi Adityanath government has decided to develop the existing airstrip in Faizabad into a full-fledged airport. The state government has decided to acquire more than 280 acres of land around the airstrip and widen it to allow landing of bigger aircraft.
The existing airstrip is just over 1.5 km long and 30 mt wide, barely enough to allow landing of seven to eight-seater aircraft. For bigger aircraft, the airstrip needs to have a width of 45 meters, experts said.
South Korea's First Lady Kim Jung-Sook, the chief guest at the Deepotsav in Ayodhya, landed in Lucknow on Monday. "She will be the chief guest at the Deepotsav event being organised by the State Government of Uttar Pradesh and the ground-breaking ceremony of the Queen Suriratma (Heo Hwang-ok) Memorial in Ayodhya on November 6, 2018," said a statement from the Ministry of External Affairs.
As per the common belief, princess Suriratna of Ayodhya travelled to Korea and married King Kim, who was later known as Hur Hwang-ok in 48 AD. Many Koreans, along with the wife of former President Lee Myung-bak, Kim Yoon-ok and another former President Kim Young-sam, trace their ancestry to the royal couple. Meanwhile, Ayodhya is bustling with activities ahead of the Deepotsav festival to mark the home coming of Lord Ram after an exile of 14 years.
CM Yogi Adityanath is likely to have a night stay at Ayodhya on November 6 and will proceed to Gorakhpur on Wednesday to spend the Diwali day, as always, with forest tribe Vantangia. Senior government officials, ministers, MLAs and MPs are monitoring the arrangements for the grand festival for which over 750 artists from across the globe have already thronged the temple town. A grand Shobha Yatra will also be taken out on the occasion and culminate on the banks of river Saryu.