Lucknow, Mar 22 (IANS): The ministers in the Yogi Adityanath government will join the recital of Durga Saptashati -- the Hindu religious text depicting victory of Goddess Durga over demon Mahishasura -- that are being organised in all prominent temples across Uttar Pradesh during the nine-day Chaitra Navratri beginning Wednesday.
The ministers and BJP leaders will also be seen reciting the 'Akhand Ramayan Path' (uninterrupted recitation of Ramayan verses) on Ram Navami, following the culmination of Navratri on March 30.
The government's decision to hold recitation of 'Akhand Ramayan' is being viewed as a counter to Samajwadi Party leader Swami Prasad Maurya's campaign to seek deletion of some of the verses of the Ramcharitmanas, which the opposition party leader claimed were "anti-women and anti-backward".
Jaiveer Singh, the minister for tourism and culture, said, "We will even request Samajwadi Party chief Akhilesh Yadav to join us in the recitation of Durga Saptashati and Akhand Ramayan Path in all prominent temples across the state. Invocation of Gods would help the country and the state and all must sink political differences and join us."
Singh would be visiting the famous Chandrika Devi temple in Lucknow for the recitation of Durga Saptashati on Wednesday.
"Other ministers and party leaders would also be visiting different temples across the state," the minister said.
SP leader Swami Prasad Maurya, said, "The government has decided to hold Akhand Ramayan Path as our campaign to delete some verses that clearly portrayed women and backwards in poor light, has found acceptance among the people."
It may be recalled that the Yogi Adityanath government has issued directives to all district magistrates to hold religious/cultural events in all prominent temples, especially those related to Goddess Durga.
"All these programmes would be organised by paryatan aur sanskritik parishad -- a committee for holding religious, tourism and cultural events -- that are there in each district. The government has allocated Rs 1 lakh each in all districts, but this is a token amount that would be increased as per requirements," said the tourism minister.
BJP cadres will also be reciting the Durga Saptashati and Akhand Ramayan at various temples.