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Ram Temple trust waits for PM nod to begin construction, but Covid pandemic causes delays

A saint associated with the Ram Temple Trust said the trust expected PM Narendra Modi to be part of the ground-breaking ceremony of the temple.

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New Delhi: The Shri Ram Janmabhoomi Tirtha Kshetra, the trust set up to oversee the construction of a Ram Mandir in Ayodhya, is waiting for Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s nod for the bhoomi pooja (ground-breaking ceremony) as all the preparations related to the temple construction are almost complete.

A senior saint associated with the trust said the bhoomi pooja will be done by the Prime Minister himself.

A member of the trust, who didn’t want to be named, told ThePrint the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) has not fixed a date for the ground-breaking ceremony yet.

“Ram Mandir trust has completed all the necessary preparations for the bhoomi pooja ceremony. But due to its busy schedule while responding to the Covid crisis, the PMO is not allocating any time,” said the member. 

“Soon there will be a meeting of the trust members and other saints. We will take a decision only after that,” the member said.

Champat Rai, general secretary of the trust, told ThePrint, also said the matter is pending due to the Covid-19 crisis. “We are yet to have a meeting regarding the bhoomi pooja of Ram Temple … We have not received any information from the PMO yet,” he said.

When ThePrint reached out to a PMO official, he said, on the condition of anonymity, “As of now, we do not have any information about this.”

Also read: Pakistan criticises India for starting construction of Ram temple in Ayodhya

‘Possibility PM may give some time on 1 July’

Mahant Kamal Nayan Das, a senior saint associated with the trust, told ThePrint the PM himself will perform the ground-breaking ceremony.

“Right now, the process of ground-leveling is going on. Soon the bhoomi pooja will be done by the PM himself. The PMO has not been able to give time due to the Covid crisis. Trustees are in constant touch with the Prime Minister as well as the PMO,” said Das, who is the designated successor to trust president Mahant Nritya Gopal Das.

“There is a possibility that PM Modi may give some time on 1 July, but nothing is officially decided as of yet. Meanwhile, almost all the preparations related to temple construction have been completed,” he added.

According to Hindu traditions, 1 July is considered to be the most appropriate period for the ground-breaking ceremony as the Devshayani Ekadashi will be observed on 1-2 July.

Devshayani Ekadashi, the 11th lunar day of Hindu month of Ashadha, is followed by a four-month period, called chaturmas. During chaturmas, all auspicious functions such as marriages, yajna, remain prohibited.

Rudrabhishek done

Once the ground-leveling work at the Shri Ram Janmabhoomi complex is over, the construction of the temple could start anytime.

Earlier this week, Mahant Kamal Nayan Das performed the rudrabhishek — a ritual to offer prayers to lord Shiva — marking the beginning of the construction of the temple.

The Supreme Court’s verdict last November cleared the path for the construction of the Ram Temple. It was expected to begin on Ram Navami in April this year, but was delayed due to the coronavirus outbreak in India and the subsequent nationwide lockdown that was imposed on 25 March.

Also read: Ayodhya Ram temple to be based on 30-year-old VHP model, trust to decide construction date


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