Most members of the Uttar Pradesh State Legislature on Sunday (January 11) visited Ayodhya to their obeisance to Ram Lalla at the newly inaugurated Ram temple there, even as Samajwadi Party Chief Akhilesh Yadav once again declined the invitation.
“Today all the legislators had the opportunity to seek blessings from Lord Ram in Ayodhya…May he shower his blessings & by 2047 we become Viksit Bharat…,” Uttar Pradesh Deputy CM Keshav Prasad Maurya said after the visit.
Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath and Uttar Pradesh Assembly Speaker Satish Mahana have invited members of both Houses of the legislature on Saturday to offer prayers before Ram Lalla in Ayodhya.
Akhilesh Yadav Declines Invitation
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.”
Earlier, the SP chief had also skipped the ‘Pran Pratishtha’ ceremony at the Ram Temple in Ayodhya with other Opposition leaders also opting to abstain from the event.
However, this time, except for Yadav, most legislators have given their consent to go to Ayodhya.
“It is a matter of faith, you cannot force anyone to go there,” said Mahana on the Samajwadi Party chief skipping the visit.
Most UP Lawmakers in Ayodhya Today
Despite Yadav’s refusal, leaders from various parties, including the BJP, Apna Dal Sonelal, Nishad Party, Suheldev Bhartiya Samaj Party, Rashtriya Lok Dal, Indian National Congress, Jansatta Dal Loktantrik, and Bahujan Samaj Party, have accepted the invitation and will be part of the visit.
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.”
Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) legislature party leader Umashankar Singh also said the party has accepted the invitation. “We will go to Ayodhya! This is the invitation of the Assembly Speaker and he does not belong to any party but everyone has unanimously elected him,” he told news agency PTI.
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.”
Jansatta Dal Loktantrik leader Raghuraj Pratap Singh also welcomed the invitation to visit Ayodhya.
Legislators To Visit Ayodhya in Luxury Buses
All legislators went to Ayodhya on Sunday morning on buses. Ten luxury buses carrying cabinet ministers and members of the legislature reached Ayodhya at 11:30 am.
Arrangements were made for the visit by the Minister of State for Transport (Independent Charge) Dayashankar Singh.
CM Adityanath reached Ayodhya airport directly at noon on Sunday.
After this, he and other lawmakers visited Hanumangarhi and Ram temple for darshan.