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BJP promises 'religious tourism' if voted to power
Advani struck the right chord in Orissa as he pledged to promote 'religious tourism' if BJP is voted to power. Advani also said a separate 'Special Religious Tourism Department' would be opened under Ministry of Tourism
WHILE ADDRESSING a huge rally at the ‘temple town’ of Sonepur in western Orissa, Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) Prime Ministerial candidate Lal Krishna Advani has promised religious tours for people if voted to power.

Sonepur town in western Orissa is regarded as ‘Mandira Malini’, which means ‘City of Temples’. Sonepur district has around 122 temples dedicated to various Hindu Gods and godesses. Besides this, some Buddhist sites are also located in the district.

Advani also said a ‘Special Religious Tourism Department’ would be opened under Ministry of Tourism and religious tourism would be given a boost. Reiterating that BJP would come down hard on terrorism and promote nationalism if it regains power, he also stressed the need for development. He said BJP’s slogan for this year’s election will be ‘Susasan’, ‘Vikas’ and ‘Surakshya’ (good governance, development and security). He also assured that BJP would not mete out ‘step-motherly’ treatment to non-BJP ruled states if it is voted to power at the Centre.

Advani’s ‘religious tourism’ concept is significant as BJP has in the past opposed the grant of subsidy by the Central Government to Haj pilgrims and if not, then the government should extend similar subsidies to pilgrims to Mansarovar in Tibet and other domestic pilgrimages.

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