Union Minister for Water Resources, River Development and Ganga Rejuvenation Uma Bharti said that construction of the Ram Temple in Ayodhya was something she was ready to go to jail for. “I believe that a grand Ram temple should be built there very soon. I had taken part in Ram Janmabhoomi movement…I never backtracked from it….I have immense pride in it. If I have to go to jail for it.. I will go, if I have to hang myself for it, I will do it,” she said.
Speaking to media persons after meeting Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath on the issues of irrigation and Ganga cleaning projects, Bharti claimed that the Ram temple was not discussed during their interaction. “We do not need to discuss the issue because we are not strangers for it..Yogi ji’s guru was the leader of the temple movement,” she said, adding that the Ayodhya issue was not related to one state.
The Union minister said that since the matter is pending in the Supreme Court she would refrain from speaking much on it but pointed out that the apex court has noted that the matter could be resolved outside of court.
Bharti said the Centre was ready to release Rs 7,000 crore for Ganga rejuvenation projects and around Rs 20,000 crore for irrigation-related projects in the state by May-end. She said that the chief minister had been asked to decide priorities of the projects within 15 days for implementation. Accusing that precious Akhilesh Yadav-led government of having created hurdles in the implementation of Ganga-cleaning projects, she said that since Adityanath was now CM, she was sure the work on these projects would gather pace and be completed by the end of 2018.
Asked to comment on the chief minister ordering a judicial inquiry into the Gomti Riverfront project, Bharti said there were “doubts” about the project’s cost, adding that though the probe will continue, the project will also be completed.
On Bundelkhand region, the minister said the issue of irrigation was discussed at her meeting with the CM, where it was decided that the Centre will extend every help required to make drinking water available to people there. “Prime Minister Narendra Modi has directed that there should no scarcity of drinking water anywhere in the country,” Bharti added.