With the Yogi Adityanath-led Uttar Pradesh Government proposing to build a 'grand statue' of Lord Ram on the banks of the Saryu River in Ayodhya, Zafaryab Jilani, member of the All India Muslim Personal Law Board (AIMPLB) has said that no government, under the Indian Constitution, can take any step for the propagation of any particular religion.
"No government under our Constitution can take any step for propagation of any particular religion. If the government is doing it, it is doing it illegally and unconstitutionally," Jilani told ANI.
He added that establishment of an idol or statue is the propagation of a particular religion.
"This is not permissible under the Indian Constitution. The Constitution specifically restrains a government from doing so because tax-payers money cannot be used for the benefit or propagation of any particular religion. It is totally unconstitutional," he asserted.
Earlier on 10 October, the proposal was presented to Governor Ram Naik as part of the state tourism department's initiatives to promote religious tourism.
The government's slideshow put the height of the statute at 100 meters but some officials said that wasn't final.
The presentation also included information on programmes scheduled for Diwali celebrations in Ayodhya on 18 October.
Governor Naik, Chief Minister Adityanath, Union Tourism Minister K.J. Alphons and Culture Minister Mahesh Sharma will be present on the occasion.
The statue will be build at Saryughat after clearance from the National Green Tribunal (NGT).