Earlier in the day, the UP Chief Minister led a series of prayers in the temple inside the sprawling Gorakhnath temple complex, visited by thousands each day. He also made a visit to the in house gaushala where he fed cows and posed for cameras.
Some had wondered if he would break tradition this year because of his chief minsiterial responsibilities, but that did not happen. Like previous years, Mr Adityanath arrived at Gorakhnath on Tuesday and since then led different sets of rituals inside the temple complex. “It is not strange. He is a yogi. His first responsibility is to protect his dharma, his religion. This is a lifelong thing, can’t say the same about power,” said a slightly irritated Acharya Shashi Kumar Yadav, a priest whose association with the Gorakhnath Temple goes back two decades.
Inside the Gorakhnath temple, on a pavement close to the residential complex, at least a hundred people waited for an audience with the Chief Minister – many had travelled from adjoining districts and were camping for the last few days hoping that the Chief Minister would meet them here and solve their problems.
Suresh Chandra Yadav, a staunch Yogi Adityanath supporter, said he was sacked unfairly from a government job in 2003, and that he had been trying for an audience with Mr Adityanath for three days but wasn’t successful. “There is a little bit of problem. You see he has been here at the temple for five days so I am sure government work must be getting affected, but I am inside a temple and I believe in Yogi ji and I hope he will help me,” said Mr Yadav.
Dussehra though isn’t the only festival Mr Adityanath is showcasing big time. In the pipeline for Diwali, a grand celebration is planned in Ayodhya, with Mr Aditynath and all his minister’s in attendance.
Among the big plans in the city of the disputed Ram Janmabhoomi-Babri Masjid site are lighting across town, an aarti on the banks of the Saryu River and much more.
“Ayodhya has its importance, we cannot neglect that. Many Hindus see it as part of their faith. We have planned a unique event on Chhoti Diwali and arrangements are being made,” said the Chief Minister in an interview to the news agency ANI.