Prime Minister Narendra Modi is all set to attend the Dussehra celebrations at the iconic Ram Leela ground in Aishbagh area of Lucknow in Uttar Pradesh on Tuesday.
Minister of Home Affairs Rajnath Singh arrived in Lucknow on Monday evening. Singh, along with Uttar Pradesh (UP) Chief Minister Akhikesh Yadav and Lucknow Mayor Dinesh Sharma, is likely to welcome Modi at the airport.
Modi, who has left for Lucknow, is expected to land in the city at 6 pm from where he will head to Aishbagh Ram Leela for the Dussehra celebrations. The state's Principal Secretary of the Information Department, Navneet Sahgal, said that CM Yadav might not attend the celebrations, the Financial Express reported.
Bhartiya Janata Party (BJP) Vice President Dinesh Sharma said that Singh, Ram Naik and a state government minister will accompany Modi on the dais at Ram Leela in Lucknow. CM Yadav has not confirmed his presence at the event.
The ground has been decorated with 20 quintals of flowers. An effigy of Ravan, which is 121 feet in height, has also been erected. The effigy will be set on fire by PM Modi through laser in the presence of Singh and Sharma. Forty-five LED screens have also been put up at various crossings in the city so that people can watch live coverage of the celebrations.
According to officials, the prime minister will take part in the celebrations, but will leave the ground before the bursting of firecrackers due to security concerns.
"The Ravan effigy will be burnt after the Prime Minister leaves the venue. Every year we give a social message as the effigy goes up in flames, and the theme this year is 'atankvaad ka samool naash' (destruction of terrorism from its roots)," President of Ram Leela Samiti Harishchandra Agarwal told the Indian Express.
Modi also greeted the country on the occasion of Vijaya Dashmi through Twitter:
Vijaya Dashmi greetings to you all. विजयादशमी के पावन पर्व पर आप सभी को शुभकामनाएं।
— Narendra Modi (@narendramodi) October 11, 2016
Leaving for Lucknow where I will join Vijaya Dashmi celebrations. Looking forward to the programme. — Narendra Modi (@narendramodi) October 11, 2016
Meanwhile, terrorism seems to be the theme of the Dussehra celebrations this year with effigies on "terrorism sponsored by Pakistan" all set to be burnt in Dwarka. Effigies of Pakistan Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif and Jamaat-ud-Dawa chief Hafiz Saeed will also be burnt in Ludhiana during the celebrations.
— ANI (@ANI_news) October 11, 2016