In what is supposed to dislodge CWG from being the biggest talking point in the country, UP Govt. has brought decades old Ayodhya dispute to an end nobody had ever thought of. UP Govt. has decided to seize the disputed land and use it to build a huge park with statue of Chief Minister Ms. Mayawati.
Giving more details about the proposed Rs. 600 crore project, Chief Secretary Atul Gupta said that this project will quieten the critics who have accused the Govt of concentrating only on 'development' of Lucknow and neglecting other districts. In answer to a question that if this is going to be state policy for dealing with disputed properties from now onwards, he did not rule out the possibility of this, however he said Govt will wait for feedback of this move before finalizing it. (If this goes true we can have another mega Mayawati park in Varanasi where Gyanwapi mosque is disputed.)
As a sidenote Mr. Gupta informed that for building the park, Saryu river would be diverted and about 150 acres of residential area would have to be cleared. The people displaced will then be given jobs in UP's Monument Protection Force. When asked about hurting religious sentiments of Hindus and Muslims he said in UP everyone is supposed to worship the CM and her religious appeal goes beyond individual religions. (To this one journalist quipped that very soon BSP election rallies would resemble Kumbh mela or Eid prayers!)
Opposition parties were as usual divided on this issue. While BSP predictably was jubiliant, SP and BJP were sulking at the prospect of yet another poll debacle. Some leaders were overheard cursing their central leadership for not coming up with this master stroke when their party was in power in the state. This has lead to more infighting in BJP, now about whose statue would have been installed if BJP tried to do this.
Congress spokesperson Manish Tiwari said statue of a living person is against Indian ethos. To which BSP leader Satish Chandra Mishra laughed and said "look who is talking", apparently taking a dig at party's Italian leadership. However Mr Tiwari was also heard telling his good friend and Congress MP Mr Sulesh Kalmadi that his party will try Commonwealth Games Organizing Committee to bid for the construction of the park.
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