Prime Minister Narendra Modi lays the foundation stone of Maharaja Suheldev Memorial and development work of Chittaura Lake in Uttar Pradesh.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi lays the foundation stone of Maharaja Suheldev Memorial and development work of Chittaura Lake in Uttar Pradesh.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Tuesday laid the foundation stone of Maharaja Suheldev Memorial and development work of Chittaura Lake in Uttar Pradesh's Bahraich via video-conferencing.

Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath was present at the event.

"The history of India is not just what was written by those who enslaved this country and those with a slave mentality. It is also that which the common people of India have kept alive in our folk stories, which have been passed on over generations," Modi said on the occasion.

"Today, when India is entering its 75th year of independence, there can be no bigger an occasion to remember and take inspiration from the contribution of such great men, their sacrifice, struggle, valour, and martyrdom.

"It's a misfortune that those who dedicated their lives to protect India were not given their due position... The injustice and manipulation meted out to those who created history, by those who wrote history is being corrected by today's India."

The complete project will include installation of an equestrian statue of Maharaja Suheldev and development of various tourist amenities like a cafeteria, guest house, and children’s park, the Prime Minister's Office had said on Sunday.

"Maharaja Suheldev's devotion and service to the country is a source of inspiration for all, and with the development of this memorial site, the country will be able to get better acquainted with his heroic saga. It would also further enhance the site's tourist potential," the PMO said.

Maharaja Suheldev, who is said to have killed Ghaznavid general Ghazi Saiyyad Salar Masud in the early 11th century, is considered a key icon for the Rajbhar community of eastern Uttar Pradesh.

Earlier in December 2020, Modi had released a postal stamp of Suheldev at an event in Ghazipur. At the time, the PM had said this was to take Maharaja Suheldev's contribution to all Indians through the stamp.

The Rajbhar community accounts for a significant percentage of the Purvanchal population. They are considered the second-most politically dominant force to reckon with after the Yadavs in eastern Uttar Pradesh. Traditionally, they voted with the Dalits for Mayawati's BSP, but now have been with Suheldev Bharatiya Samaj Party (SBSP) chief Om Prakash Rajbhar.

However, efforts to woo them for electoral support continue, especially from the BJP that allied with Rajbhar in 2017 assembly polls. Rajbhar became a minister in the Yogi government but later parted ways with the NDA.

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