BJP eyes riding into South with train linking Ayodhya to Rameswaram

This will be the first direct train service from Ayodhya to any state in South India.

Written by Liz Mathew | New Delhi | Updated: June 3, 2017 10:40 am
ayodhya to rameswaram train, pilgrim train, Ayodhya, BJP, Indian Express News Representational image of a train. (Source: File photo)

IN WHAT will be the first direct train service from Ayodhya to any state in South India, a train is set to link the city in Uttar Pradesh to Rameswaram, a major Hindu pilgrim centre in Tamil Nadu, from July-end. Lallu Singh, the BJP MP from Ayodhya, said the train is expected to be flagged off from Ayodhya station on July 29.

The move is politically significant given the BJP’s attempts to expand its footprints in the five southern states. It is also seen as a move to capitalise the renewed fervour around Ram Janmabhoomi.

The Ramanathaswamy temple in Rameswaram is considered one of the holiest shrines for Hindus, and it is one of the Char Dham sites. Some religious texts and mythology says Ram built a bridge – called Ram Sethu, or Adam’s bridge – across the sea to Lanka to from near Rameshwaram. “This will be part of a comprehensive development plan for the holy city. There is no politics in it – devotees want to see them (religious places) in good shape,” Singh said.

The same day, Singh said, Railway Minister Suresh Prabhu will lay the foundation stone for a modernised railway station at Ayodhya.

Ayodhya has a significant place in the minds of the people, and both Prime Minister Narendra Modi and UP Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath are keen to see the city developed, Singh said.

As part of a joint state-Centre development plan Ayodhya, the temple town will also get infrastructure such as multi-level parking, a multi-purpose hall, a modernised bus terminal and a cargo-civil airport. The Union Culture Ministry has already decided to set up a state-of-the-art museum, depicting versions of Ramayana, in the city. “Such projects will bring in more tourists also to the area, opening up new job avenues,” Singh said.

The MP said the state BJP and he had opposed proposals of the previous Samajwadi Party government for the temple town since those were “wrong proposals”to “get funds and misuse them” in the name of Ayodhya.

Although the government maintains that the Ayodhya dispute can be solved only through talks, the BJP is keen on keeping the issue alive for its purported ability in consolidating Hindu votes across the country ahead of 2019 Lok Sabha elections.

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  1. Srinivasan Mariappan
    Jun 3, 2017 at 7:14 pm
    Welcomes this Ayothya to Rameswaram weekly expresses as a pilgrimage train. Requested to operate on daily basis like Sangamitra expresses from Bangalore to Patna which is ever over crowded.Till date no daily express trains are operated between any of the Uttar Pradesh cities and Tamilnadu. .Then only the pilgrimages and the interstate passengers are benefited .
    1. Mariappan Srinivasan
      Jun 3, 2017 at 7:05 pm
      Welcomes this Ayodhya to Rameswaram weekly expresse as pilgrimage train. This trains have to be operated as a daily trains for the benefits of Tourist passengers as well as act as a interstate daily expresses like Sangamitra expresses operated between Bangalore to Patna on daily basis.
      1. C
        Jun 3, 2017 at 1:14 pm
        Tamilians consider themselves above india n other Indians..Thr actor sidharth was asking bjp to stop wat its doing...Tamilians are least concerned abt the condition of Kashmiri pandits and Bengalis who wr thrown out of thr cities...They didn't care wen 26/11 in Mumbai happened. They say tht we will not speak hindi just bcoz tamil is oldest language...but they r wil to speak English...they shud kno tht india has supported them in thr struggle n not srilanka or any other country which they like...they must not hate the other Indians who consider tamilians their brother...They just hate modi bcoz he is non tamilian n doing gud work for w india
        1. V
          Jun 3, 2017 at 12:24 pm
          No surprise the writer Liz Mathew a catholic giving a political color to this and stating the Ram sethu as mythological and cal it as Adams bridge.These Vatican catholic crooks will never respect Hindus and Indian history.They have to be shown their rightful place.
          1. G
            George Cruz
            Jun 3, 2017 at 8:43 am
            It is an excellent idea by the BJP to construct a train service from Ayodhya to any state in South India, a train is set to link the city in Uttar Pradesh to Rameswaram, a major Hindu pilgrim centre in Tamil Nadu. Afterall, the entire Indian subcontinent was inhabited by PEACEFUL and INCLUSIVE Hindus, the entire subcontinent was a confluence of many religions like Buddhism, Jainism, and Sikhism co-existing peacefully for thousands of years until the arrival of evil Islam in 1100s which brought terror/kil and hate for other religions based on its Jihad/Sharia. In fact, historically Muslims have no claim to even an inch of the Indian subcontinent. There was no visible presence of Christianity in the Indian subcontinent until Vasco De Gama arrived in the southern coast in the 1400s and embarked on forcible conversions.
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