On Tuesday evening, Vishnu Deo Sai, who recently took over as the Chhattisgarh Chief Minister, announced that the state will observe January 22 as a ‘dry day’ on account of the consecration of the Ram temple in Ayodhya.
“The entire state will have an atmosphere of enthusiasm on the day of inauguration. It is our resolve to bring ‘Ram Rajya’, as our commitment to good governance. Like Diwali, lamps will be lit in homes, as the Chhattisgarh government has decided to declare January 22 as a dry day in the entire state,” the CM said.
“No liquor will be available throughout the state on that day,” he said.
Speaking to reporters in the state capital, CM Sai said that the Ram Raj is the model of good governance and said that the state is fortunate to be “the home of the maternal grandparents (nanihal) of Lord Ram,” adding that “it is also fortunate that ‘pran pratistha’ of Ram Mandir in Ayodhya will take place on January 22”.
Yogesh Agarwal, president of the state’s rice millers’ association said that they had recently sent 300 metric tonnes of aromatic rice to Ayodhya “from the maternal home to its ‘bhancha’ (nephew) Ram”.
The farmers of the state are reported to dispatch vegetables to Ayodhya for the occasion soon.
The declaration comes in after Prime Minister Narendra Modi during the inauguration ceremony of the new airport and the revamped railway station in Ayodhya on December 30, appealed to all Indians to light a ‘Shri Ram Jyoti’ lamp in their houses as a form of celebration of the temple inauguration.
The grand inauguration of the temple will see a massive gathering, including several film and sports personalities, artists, ministers and politicians, along with “families of karsevaks who lost their lives during the Ram Mandir struggle” as per Champat Rai, general secretary of Shri Ram Janmbhoomi Teerth Kshetra.
According to the Shri Ram Janmabhoomi Trust, the temple premises will make arrangements for 10,000-15,000 attendees.