From Sita's "maika" (maternal home) in Janakpur - now in Nepal - to her "sasural" (in-laws' home) in Ayodhya, the route for the bus flagged off by Prime Minister Narendra Modi in Nepal on Friday is repl ete with mythological significance. Several of Yogi's cabinet colleagues and senior officers were present at the ceremony.
Meanwhile, the direct bus service evoked much interest among locals, seers and pilgrims in Ayodhya. The chief mahant of Gopal Mandir, Jagatguru Ram Dineshacharya, said the bus service was perhaps one of the best decisions by the government. "People have changed over the years but our cultural link has only strengthened and gone beyond political bond", he said.
Reacting to the bus service, Uttar Pradesh Congress spokesperson Dwijendra Tripathi said: "The undue interference of Modi in the internal matters of Nepal has spoilt our relationship with the neighbour".
"But it is predictable that they (the BJP) will talk a lot about Ayodhya before the 2019 Lok Sabha elections", he said.
"Janakpur and Ayodhya are being connected". The passengers were given boxes of candies too.
The Indian government has identified 15 destinations in India for development under the Ramayana Circuit theme namely Ayodhya, Nandigram, Shringverpur & Chitrakoot (Uttar Pradesh), Sitamarhi, Buxar & Darbhanga (Bihar), Chitrakoot (Madhya Pradesh), Mahendragiri (Odisha), Jagdalpur (Chattisgarh), Nashik & Nagpur (Maharashtra), Bhadrachalam (Telangana), Hampi (Karnataka) and Rameshwaram (Tamil Nadu). After inaugurating the bus line, Modi said that this addition to the Ramayana Circuit will boost tourism and "act as a foundation for strong people-to-people ties" between India and Nepal. "We have lost all political coordination with Nepal, which feels more comfortable with China". The bus left for Ayodhya around 7 am on Saturday. Chief Minister directed the officials that all the projects of beautification of Ayodhya involving over Rs 133 crore must be completed by October this year without making any compromise on quality of work. Later Adityanath left for Gorakhpur.
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