Stage set for PM Modi’s Lucknow visit, Akhilesh Yadav likely to skip Ramleela event

BJP national vice-president Dinesh Sharma, the patron of Aishbagh Ram Leela, said besides Singh, UP Governor Ram Naik and a state government minister will be present on the dais with PM Modi.

Written by RAMENDRA SINGH | Lucknow | Updated: October 11, 2016 3:46 pm
Ram Leela, Rajnath Singh, Narendra Modi, Akhilesh Yadav, Modi Ram Leela, Uttar Pradesh, dussehra, news, latest news, national news, India news, dussera, Dinesh Sharma, BJP, Ram Naik, Modi, Ramlila Ground set for Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s visit at Aishbagh in Lucknow on Monday. PM Modi will arrive in the city on Tuesday to celebrate Dussehra. (Express photo by Vishal Srivastav)

Union Home Minister and local MP Rajnath Singh reached Lucknow on Monday evening ahead of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s visit to the historic Ram Leela in Aishbagh area of the old city on Dussehra on Tuesday. Uttar Pradesh’s Principal Secretary (Information) Navneet Sahgal said Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav will receive Modi at the city airport but is unlikely to attend the programme.

BJP national vice-president Dinesh Sharma, the patron of Aishbagh Ram Leela, said besides Singh, UP Governor Ram Naik and a state government minister will be present on the dais with Modi. Akhilesh, he added, was also invited but his presence has not been confirmed.

“The Ravan effigy will be burnt after the Prime Minister leaves the venue. Every year we give a social message as the effigy goes up in flames, and the theme this year is ‘atankvaad ka samool naash’ (destruction of terrorism from its roots),” said Harishchandra Agarwal, president of Ram Leela Samiti, the event’s organisers.

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Modi, who on Sunday said Vijayadashami (or Dussehra) will be “very special” this year, is expected to be at the Aishbagh venue for about an hour, arriving sometime after 6 pm. He is likely to deliver a 20-minute speech and watch the final act of Ram Leela — the slaying of the demon king — but is scheduled to leave before the Ravan effigy is burnt. Agarwal said approximately 30,000 people will be allowed on the ground, and more than 2 lakh are expected to watch the telecast live on 20 LCD screens put up outside.


Aishbagh Ram Leela, its organisers claim, is one of the oldest and was begun in the 16th century by saint-poet Tulsidas, who wrote the Ramcharitmanas. The event has earlier played host to several UP chief ministers and governors, and Modi will be the first incumbent PM to visit it. Both Akhilesh and BSP chief Mayawati have criticised Modi for visiting the Ram Leela this year — months before the state goes to the polls.

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  1. C
    Chander Pal
    Oct 11, 2016 at 6:51 am
    How some individuals can find arguments against self defense, unity or even patriotism is a development which needs to be exposed and condemned. Why Hindu bashing is a fashion statement of leftists, Congi the sick sickulars.
    1. I
      IML sood
      Oct 10, 2016 at 10:57 pm
      Shame on present and ex CM who have reported to abstain from such big festival being attended by PM himself and one wonder on what basis they think they would deserve to get majority community's votes if they dissociate themselves from such function on political reasons.
      1. D
        Dev Verma
        Oct 11, 2016 at 1:40 pm
        One need a guts to sit with our PM jay to topi pahen kar jatta hei logon ko dikhaney kay liye but muslims are more smarter than this son of mulayam.
        1. S
          Oct 11, 2016 at 9:36 am
          i find depiction of ravana as terrorist deeply offensive and hurtful to hindu religion, and see some vacuum of thought which leads to our PM gracing that. Make no mistake Ravana was not a moulvi or mulana islamich scholar like current terrorists, he was highly erudite scholar but due to ego lost everything, and that was the theme and at the end ravana understands his mistake and repents, in doing so he becomes equal to any other hindu deities and indeed many hindus worship ravana for this very reason. there cannot be anything anti-hindu than depicting ravana as terrorist islamic scholar like zakir hussain or moulvi hafiz sayeed to name a few.
          1. L
            Oct 11, 2016 at 8:24 am
            The opposition did not launch surgical strikes after 26/11 and when the NDA does it they feel jealous and exhibit impotent rage. Their only aim is to protect anti national vote bank. Doob maro, doob maro opposition.
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