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With the opposition parties training guns at the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) over its attempts to flare communal tension in the politically crucial state of Uttar Pradesh over the Ram Museum issue, Union Culture Minister Mahesh Sharma today defended the government's stand and said the museum in Ayodhya is not a political gimmick but intended to boost tourism.
Sharma said that the decision to build the museum was taken almost a year ago, adding the government allocated Rs. 225 crores for the same.
"The decision to construct the museum was taken a year ago and around two months ago Secretary-level officials from the Centre and the state visited the land.
However, it would be unwise to level allegations against us," Sharma said.
"This is to boost tourism, which has been the main focus of our Prime Minister.
Development is a continuous process under which this work is being initiated. So, this is not a political gimmick," he added.
Rajya Sabha MP and the founder of Bajrang Dal, Vinay Katiyar, on the other hand, asked the BJP-led Central government to intensify its efforts to construct Ram temple in Ayodhya instead of giving 'lollipop' (Ram museum) to please the people, who are demanding the construction of the temple.
(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)