Several members of both Houses of the Uttar Pradesh legislature left for Ayodhya to offer prayers and darshan of Ram Lalla in the newly inaugurated temple in Ayodhya on Sunday. Buses carrying members of the UP Assembly and Legislative Council left Lucknow on Sunday morning for Ayodhya’s Ram Janmabhoomi Temple.
Interestingly, RLD and BSP MLAs also joined the tour with the BJP legislators. The development comes amid strong buzz over Rashtriya Lok Dal (RLD) joining the BJP-led NDA dumping opposition’s I.N.D.I.A bloc. Also, the sources said all is not well between two allies – SP and RLD. There is a buzz over a growing rift with its ally Akhilesh Yadav’s party and increasing proximity to the BJP, the RLD has taken a completely different stand than the SP on Uttar Pradesh MLAs’ visit to Ayodhya for darshan of Ram Lalla on February 11.
While the RLD has accepted UP assembly speaker Satish Mahana’s invitation for the same, the SP has turned it down, saying that its MLAs will go later.
Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) legislature party leader Umashankar Singh also said the party has accepted the invitation. “The leaders of Samajwadi Party are politicising the issue but we are not. Our party is secular & we respect all religions…One should not politicise this,” he added.
BJP MLA Aditi Singh said, “I am fortunate that I am getting an opportunity to go to Ayodhya…This is about religion & faith and above petty politics.”
Samajwadi Party chief Akhilesh Yadav declined the invitation to visit the holy city. During a discussion on the budget in the House on Saturday, the speaker said to Yadav, “You come with us to Ayodhya tomorrow.” To this, the Leader of the Opposition in the assembly, said: “We will go only when Lord Shri Ram calls us.”
Members of both Houses of the legislature have been invited by Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath and UP Assembly Speaker Satish Mahana to offer prayers before Ram Lalla in the newly inaugurated temple in Ayodhya on Sunday.
An official statement said that Adityanath will reach Ayodhya airport directly on Sunday. After this, he and his cabinet ministers will go for a darshan of Ram Lalla at the Ayodhya temple.
Currently, there are 400 MLAs in the state assembly while there are 100 members in the Legislative Council. It was unclear exactly how many members are going to Ayodhya.
BJP has 252 MLAs in the assembly, its ally Apna Dal (Sonelal) has 13, Nishad party has six and Suheldev Bharatiya Samaj Party (SBSP) has six. Nishad and SBSP are constituents of the ruling National Democratic Alliance.
The state’s main opposition party Samajwadi Party has 108 MLAs, Rashtriya Lok Dal has nine, Indian National Congress has two, Jansatta Dal Loktantrik has two and Bahujan Samaj Party has one MLA.
Rajpal Singh Balyan, leader of the RLD legislative party in the assembly, told PTI on Friday: “Most of the RLD MLAs will go to Ayodhya on February 11 for ‘darshan’ of Lord Ram in the newly constructed temple.”
Virendra Chaudhary, Congress MLA from Farenda in Maharajganj district said, “Lord Ram is our idol but due to a pre-decided programme in our area on Sunday, I will not be able to go but our legislature party leader Aradhana Mishra ‘Mona’ will go to Ayodhya.”