PM Modi likely to attend Ram temple ground-breaking event at Ayodhya

Some among the idols depicting events in the life of Lord Ram, that are planned to be used as part of the construction of the Ram Temple, at a workshop in Ayodhya on July 21, 2020.   | Photo Credit: PTI

Prime Minister Narendra Modi will, in all likelihood, attend the “bhoomi poojan” or ground-breaking ceremony of the proposed Ram temple at Ayodhya in early August.

The Ramjanmabhoomi Teerth Trust, set up by the government to oversee the temple construction after the Supreme Court mandated the same last year, has issued an invitation to Mr. Modi and several other senior leaders of the Ramjanmbhoomi movement, including former Deputy Prime Minister L.K. Advani and Defence Minister Rajnath Singh.

The dates proposed include August 3 and 5, with the later date being more likely.

Sources in the government say Mr. Modi will attend, but that official confirmation was not forthcoming due to security considerations.

A silver brick will be set into the ground by him as a symbolic gesture of ground-breaking and the Uttar Pradesh government is expected to announce some projects related to the Ayodhya temple complex at the event.

The Trust met on Saturday to decide on the date of starting the construction work after it had to be put for a few months due to the outbreak of COVID19.

“The entire country feels that the bhoomi poojan should be done by Prime Minister Modi,” said Kameshwar Chaupal, a Trust member.

There have, however, been reservations raised by other political leaders, including Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) chief Sharad Pawar, who said that the priority of governments should be eradication of COVID-19 rather than “construction of a temple”.

Mr. Pawar’s dig is said to be aimed at his own alliance partner, the Shiv Sena, which has always highlighted its role in the Ramjanmabhoomi movement and the ‘kar sewa’ that brought the Babri Masjid down.

Hussain Dalwai of the Congress has raised objections on what he terms historic and constitutional grounds. “I would like to bring it to the notice that when [late Prime Minister] Nehru was invited for the bhoomi poojan of the Somnath temple, he rejected it saying he was the leader of a secular nation. But nowadays, such things have changed. I think, PM [Modi] should not go to the event, but nowadays all are going – so it is not a big issue. He must decide whether to go or not,” he said in a television interview.

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Printable version | Sep 18, 2021 7:00:18 PM |

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