Mahesh Sharma to visit Ayodhya on Tuesday

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New Delhi, Oct 17 (IANS) Union Minister of State for Culture and Tourism Mahesh Sharma on Monday said he will visit Ayodhya on Tuesday to inspect the proposed Ramayana Museum.

Sharma also sought to clarify that the construction of Ram Mandir has nothing to do with the forthcoming state elections.

“My visit to Ayodhya has nothing to do with assembly elections. I am visiting there as a Tourism Minister. It should not be linked to politics. It is part of government’s effort to improve tourism in Ayodhya and all over the country. The visit is part of the government’s developmental agenda,” Sharma told news channel News18.

Sharma, who is also expected to visit the disputed temple site, said the museum will be part of the Ramayana circuit, for which the Centre has sanctioned Rs 225 crore, with Rs 151 crore exclusively for Ayodhya, which is the hub of the circuit.

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“Ram is in the heart of millions of people. As the Tourism Minister, I have to see how Ayodhya can be developed and how Ramayana circuit can be developed from tourism point of view,” the minister said.

During his visit, Sharma is likely to hold a meeting with Ramayana Circuit Advisory Board to discuss routes for connecting Ramayana-related sites in Nepal and Sri Lanka with the proposed museum.

Meanwhile, BJP leader and Rajya Sabha MP Vinay Katiyar urged the Union Government to take steps for the construction of Ram Mandir at Ayodhya site.

“Every Ram Bhakt wants the construction of a grand Ram Temple in Ayodhya and untill it is constructed, we are not going to sit peacefully,” Katiyar told News18.

“It is up to the government to find a way for it, either through talks or through court or throgh Lok Sabha,” the BJP leader said.

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