“There is no politics or hidden agenda behind the prime minister’s visit to the historic Dussehra Mela at Aishbagh ground tomorrow,” BJP national vice-president and Lucknow Mayor Dinesh Sharma said.
“Ravan was the first terrorist and his effigy is burnt till this day… this is the feeling among countrymen, and the prime minister is coming here to commemorate it,” he said, adding it is a traditional event and is totally apolitical.
Earlier today, Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav said Modi would have taken part in Ravan Vadh in Bihar had there been election there, while BSP president Mayawati termed the visit as politically motivated.
“This (Modi’s visit) is indicative of his belief and regard towards the land of composite culture (Lucknow)”, Sharma said.
“The PM and people are aware Ravan was killed hundreds of years ago and it is celebrated every year. Then what has it to do with Uttar Pradesh elections which are next year,” the BJP leader asked.
“Mayawati’s party is facing desertion while the Samajwadi Party family is breaking up. I do not want to say this but their duty is to look after their parties first,” he said.
A patron of the Aishbagh Ramlila committee, Sharma claimed the committee has been sending invitations to Presidents and PMs but this is the first time a PM has accepted it and will come here.
He said the Ramlila ground, with seating capacity of 25000 people, is under the SPG control. Besides local police, central forces, a bomb disposal squad and RAF have also been deployed.
The PM will land tomorrow at Amausi airport at 6pm and reach the ground. He will take part in Manglacharan before addressing people.
Besides the Union Home Minister and local MP, Rajnath Singh, Governor Ram Naik and UP BJP chief Keshav Prasad Maurya will also attend the function.