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With opposition questioning the timing of Central government's bid to construct Ramayana museum in Ayodhya, an Union Minister from the state today sought to not link the project with the UP elections and instead accused BJP's rival parties of making Lord Ram "centre of politics".
"Lord Ram is being made a centre of politics. Why it (the museum) is being objected to? Is it a case that only the BJP believes in Lord Ram?
"Don't people of the country believe in him? So, when a museum is being developed, why objection is being raised?" asked Union Minister of State for Water Resources Sanjiv Balyan.
On asked about allegations that the project is being proposed with eyes on grabbing votes during the crucial assembly polls, due early next year, Balyan sought to not link it with the election and claimed the process in this regard had begun a year-and-half ago.
He also pointed out that it is not only the Ramayana Circuit, the government is working on two other, Buddha and Krishna circuits, too as parts of its efforts to develop tourism in these places.
"Elections take place in India throughout the year. At assembly, municipal, panchayat levels. We will not be able to do any developmental work, if we go by schedules of these polls," Balyan, who represents Muzaffarnagar Lok Sabha constituency, added.
On the issue of Ram temple, the Minister said a decision on this regard will be taken by Supreme Court, but added "all people want to see the temple is built".
The Modi government has come under attack from opposition parties over the issue with BJP's political rivals alleging that the issue is being raked up with an eye on UP assembly polls, due early next year.
(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)