Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath visited Ayodhya on Wednesday for the first time since assuming the CM office this year. He offered prayers at the makeshift Ram temple, perhaps becoming the first chief minister to do so in 26 years. The last UP CM to visit the disputed Ram temple was Kalyan Singh along with his cabinet ministers in 1991.
Yogi Adityanath also made a trip to the banks of the Saryu river to offer prayers, after having spent around 30 minutes at the makeshift temple in the Ram Janambhoomi-Babri Masjid complex, news agency PTI reported. He had first visited the Hanumangarhi temple, one of the holiest places for Hindus in the city, after arriving in the city Wednesday morning. His visit to Ayodhya comes a day after the Lucknow CBI court charged Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leaders Lal Krishna Advani, Murli Manohar Joshi and Uma Bharti with criminal conspiracy in the 1992 Babri Masjid demolition case.
Adityanath had met the veteran BJP leaders on Tuesday when they had come to Lucknow to appear before the CBI court. The court rejected their discharge application, charging them under section 120 (B) of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) and nine others accused in the Babri Masjid case.
The accused who have been granted bail on signing a personal bond of Rs 20,000, will move the Allahabad High Court against CBI court’s ruling. “They have been granted bail by signing bonds of Rs. 20,000. We have submitted discharge application. If the court rejects it, then charges will be framed,” news agency ANI quoted lawyer of accused Prashant Atal as saying.