Ayodhya, Oct 18 : The Yogi Adityanath government in Uttar Pradesh has decided that nine lakh diyas (earthen lamps) would be lit in Ayodhya during 'Deepotsav' this year, while an additional 45 lakh 'diyas' would be lit in the homes of the beneficiaries of the BJP government's schemes.
The state government had earlier announced that 7.5 lakh diyas would be lit in Ayodhya this year.
The Deepotsav function is held on the Diwali eve which falls on November 3 this year.
According to a state government spokesman, there are an estimated nine lakh beneficiaries of Prime Minister's and Chief Minister's Awas Yojanas (housing schemes) in urban parts of Uttar Pradesh.
"The Chief Minister has said that his government would light one diya for each of them during the Deepotsav," the spokesman said.
"While these nine lakh earthen lamps would represent the housewarming ceremonies of as many people in urban Uttar Pradesh, the government would also light earthen lamps at the houses of 45 lakh people across the state who have got a house."
The move comes days after the Prime Minister Narendra Modi's visit to Lucknow where he expressed the wish to see that, along with Ayodhya, the homes of the beneficiaries of government schemes also shine bright with lights emanating from earthen lamps prepared by local potters.
"I am told that the Uttar Pradesh government plans to light up 7.5 lakh diyas in Ayodhya during this year's Deepotsav.
I want to task you with homework. Can we also see as much brightness emanating from the homes of those who got their new house under the PM or CM Awas Yojana? Will you accept this challenge?" Modi had said.
Yogi Adityanath has also appealed to the people to buy locally made clay idols of Lakshmi and Ganesh on Diwali.
The state government's push for clay ahead of Diwali is being seen part of a major outreach towards the Other Backward Caste (OBC) Prajapati community comprising potters.
Dharamvir Prajapati, a newly appointed minister, said that Yogi Adityanath's appeal to the people to buy the clay idols prepared by local potters and to light up earthen lamps would also help the community.
"Through Maati Kala Board we have managed to ignite fresh hope among the potters.
We organised exhibitions of their products in Lucknow and elsewhere across the state too and it was quite successful," he said.
Since 2017, the Adityanath government has been holding the Deepotsav function in Ayodhya, beginning with 51,000 earthen lamps in the inaugural year to 4.10 lakh diyas in 2019 and 6.6 lakh diyas in 2020.