In a bid to woo voters, the BJP-led Central government is mulling developing the places related to freedom movement in the poll-bound Uttar Pradesh. “Tourism Ministry is planning to develop the areas which were associated with the freedom fighters and the country’s Independence movement from 1857 to 1947 in Uttar Pradesh,” a Ministry source said.
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The ministry is preparing a list of these sites, which would be over 20 in number, the source said, adding the ministry would also allocate funds for the development of these regions.
The decision in this regard was based on the view of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who had said freedom fighters must be given their due recognition in the country which attained Independence after a long struggle.
The source said the places that could be developed under the programme include Bithoor town in Kanpur district which is known as the centre of Revolt of 1857 as Nana Sahib, a popular freedom fighter, was based there.
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Bithoor would be developed as tourist destination with facilities such as light and sound and an tourist interpretation centre.
Kakori town in Lucknow, which became popular for train robbery by people involved in the Indian independence movement in August 1925, is also to be developed, the sources said.
Development plans for Meerut Cantonment areas could also be included in the programme as the region was associated with the Revolt of 1857 with many Indian soldiers stationed there actively participated in the rebellion, the source said.
The initiative come in the background of BJP-led Central government observing ‘Yaad Karo Kurbani’ celebrations with Central ministers visiting about 150 places associated with the freedom movement across the country to mark 70 years of Independence and 74 years of Quit India Movement.
Modi kicked off the 15-day exercise by visiting revolutionary leader Chandrashekhar Azad’s birth place Bhabhra in Madhya Pradesh.
BJP president Amit Shah had gone to Kakori, while Home Minister Rajnath Singh had visited the birthplace of Birsa Munda in Jharkhand and Asfaqullah Khan in Uttar Pradesh as part of the celebrations.
The BJP government is trying to raise the patriotic fervour among the people which may lead to favourable outcome in the assembly election scheduled for next year.
The government may also approach the politically crucial UP electors highlighting the decision of government to carry out surgical strikes carried out by the Army across the LoC.
Meanwhile, the recent visit of Culture Minister Mahesh Sharma to Ayodhya for inspecting the site for Ramayana Museum had fueled the demand for construction of Ram temple, once a main poll plank of the saffron party.
Though the saffron party has been insisting that Ram temple will not be an electoral plank in the UP polls to be held early next year, the proposed Ramayana museum and related activities are being seen as an attempt to keep pro-Hindutva elements in good humour.