Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath Friday offered prayers at the makeshift Ram Lalla temple here, reiterating support for the construction of a Ram temple at the disputed site.
“According to the expectations of the world, I wish a Ram temple is built soon in Ayodhya," he said as he unveiled a seven-foot rosewood statue of Lord Ram at the city's Shodh Sansthan Museum.
On his first visit to the temple town after the Lok Sabha elections, Adityanath also took part in celebrations to mark the birthday of Ram Janmabhoomi Nyas chief Mahant Nritya Gopal Das.
In his address, the BJP leader said the previous governments had maintained distance from Lord Rama and argued that the deity was important to country’s identity.
He claimed the original copy of the Constitution included a picture of Lord Ram, in an apparent reference to one of the illustrations in an early manuscript.
“It’s everybody's wish that Ram Mandir must be constructed. According to the expectations of the world, I wish a Ram temple is built soon in Ayodhya," he said. He thanked Ayodhya’s seers for their “blessings” that helped the Bharatiya Janata Party get a second term at the Centre.
The chief minister said the people had rejected negative politics in the Lok Sabha elections. “A strong and prosperous nation leads to peace and harmony. Under the leadership of PM Modi, fast-paced development work has raised India's prestige across the globe," he said.
Adityanath said several welfare and development schemes are being implemented in the region for the betterment of the people of Ayodhya.
“Ayodhya is the land of Lord Ram and when our party came to power, the district was named Ayodhya,” he said.
The statue unveiled by Adityanath represents Kodandrama, one of the five forms of Lord Ram. It was bought from the Karnataka State Arts and Crafts Emporium.
The chief minister also visited the Hanumangarhi temple and inspected a pump house being constructed at the banks of the Saryu river.
Adityanath’s trip comes ahead of a planned visit here by Shiv Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray along with 18 newly elected party MPs.
The Sena visit to on June 16 is being seen as an attempt to put pressure on the BJP-led government over the construction of a Ram temple at the disputed site.
The title suit over the Ram Janmabhoomi-Babri Masjid site is being heard by the Supreme Court.