GAYA: Chief minister Nitish Kumar inaugurated the three-day Bodh Mahotsava in Bodh Gaya on Thursday.
The event is organised to promote cultural tourism in the land of Buddha’s enlightenment. Inaugurating the event, the CM denounced the recent acts of subversion that resulted in explosion and planting of IEDs at sensitive points. He said that both the state and central agencies are engaged in investigation to bring the culprits to book. “Please spare Bodh Gaya and do not do anything that is contrary to the teachings of Buddha,” appealed the CM.
The CM also laid the foundation stone of a Rs 145 crore cultural-cum-convention centre which will come up on a 10 acre plot in Bodh Gaya. The convention centre will accommodate 2,000 people. There will be six smaller auditoriums with 500 capacity each and a dining hall to accommodate 1000 people. “The centre will be operational within the next two years,” said Nitish.
Earlier, deputy CM Sushil Kumar Modi requested the CM to take the initiative to get Bodh Gaya included in the proposed development of 10 iconic tourist cities as per the budgetary announcement made by finance minister Arun Jaitely
Cultural troupes from Sri Lanka, Thailand, Myanmar, Laos and Vietnam, besides national, state and local artists would be performing at the decorated event venue. Dharamshala (HP)-based Tibetan artists are also in Bodh Gaya to perform at the event.
Speaking on the occasion, former CM Jitan Ram Manjhi demanded the establishment of Bodh Gaya Development Authority and an alternative approach route for Muclind Sarovar located on the shrine premises. Meanwhile, near ruckus took place near the VIP enclosure as security personnel tried to prevent district BJP chief Dhanraj Sharma from entering the special area.