Dr Sharma,who was closetted with the Mahant and other saints for about 30 minutes and also had 'Bhog'( lunch) with them, said he would be having the darshan of Lord Ram at the makeshift temple at the disputed site and later will also worship the Hanumangarhi temple. Though sources said the Union Minister and the saints discussed several issues including the possibility of Ram temple construction and the political situation in UP, but there was no official confirmation.
Questioning the Opposition for raking up his Ayodhya visit, the Union Minister said," it is our culture to take blessings from our saints and sadhus." " We are trying to serve Lord Ram by making a museum as everyone do not get such opportunity," he said, while adding that he has also sought advise from Mahant Nritya Gopal Das on the selection of the place for the museum. "My visit to Ayodhya has nothing to do with UP Assembly elections. I am visiting there as a Tourism Minister.
This is part of government's effort to improve tourism in Ayodhya and all over the country," said Dr Sharma. After the darshan of Ramlalla, Dr Sharma will visit the spots where the musuem would be constructed. One spot is on the banks of Saryu river and the second one is of 28 acres but, it is seven km away from Ayodhya. Lashing out at the Opposition, the Union Minister contradicted the allegations that the museum is being made in view of the coming assembly elections in Uttar Pradesh to gain political mileage."We were working on this museum since past long time and it would be wrong to say that we are doing it for political purpose," he said.
However, Dr Sharma alleged that the Samajwadi Party government, should be questioned for trying to set up a Ramlila theme park and not the BJP when they have done nothing for the past five years and were on the verge of being voted out. Though the Centre has refused to encourage talks about building a temple to Lord Ram in Ayodhya, Dr Sharma's visit will evaluate the location of a sprawling Ramayana museum, which will present the life of the deity as portrayed in the sage Valmiki's epic.
The proposed museum has a Rs150-crore budget and there is a plan to develop a new tour linking it to other sites, including some in Nepal and Sri Lanka, of great significance in the Ramayana. However, yesterday, the state government of Akhilesh Yadav announced its own plans to develop what it described as an international theme park in Ayodhya based on the Ramlila: the part of the Ramayana that sees demon god Ravana being defeated by Lord Ram. (UNI)