Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

Lucknow, Feb 16 (IANS) Prime Minister Narendra Modi will lay the foundation stone of a statue of warrior king, Suheldev, in Bahraich on Tuesday to commemorate his birth anniversary.

Suheldev is an icon of the Rajbhar community.

The Prime Minister, who will be addressing the people virtually, will also unveil programmes for the beautification of Shravasti, Chittora Lake and Bahraich on the occasion.

According to a government spokesman, the Prime Minister will also announce the development of various tourist amenities like a cafeteria, guest house, and a children’s park.

Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath and Governor Anandiben Patel will be attending the event in Bahraich.

The programmes will also include poetry recitation by renowned poets followed by lighting of 1.25 lakh ‘diyas’ and other cultural events.

The Modi government has taken a number of steps to honour Suheldev in order to consolidate its position in the Rajbhar community.

In February 2016, BJP leader Amit Shah had unveiled a statue of Suheldev and also launched a book on him in Bahraich district near the Indo-Nepal border, where the medieval king enjoys a legendary status, the spokesman said.

The central government had also released a postal stamp, and run a superfast train — ‘The Suheldev Express’. The tri-weekly train covers the breadth of India’s most populous state and runs from Ghazipur in Purvanchal to Anand Vihar in Delhi.

With the exit of Suheldev Bhartiya Samaj Party (SBSP) from the alliance with the BJP last year, the Yogi Adityanath government has now chalked out an elaborate plan to commemorate the contribution of Maharaja Suheldev in national integration and reach out to the Rajbhar community.

This is the first time that the government is celebrating Suheldev’s anniversary.

The chief minister has issued directives to hold events to mark Suheldev’s birth anniversary at the memorials of martyrs in all districts.

The move is apparently designed to appease the Rajbhar community, which constitutes around 17-18 per cent of the population in the Purvanchal region.

Suheldev was a legendary king of Shravasti (in present day north-eastern Uttar Pradesh) who is known to have defeated and killed the Ghaznavi general, Ghazi Saiyyad Salar Masud, in Bahraich in the early 11th century.

Raja Suheldev finds mention in ‘Mirat-i-Masudi’, a 17th century Persian-language historical account.

Source: IANS