New Delhi: The Vishwa Hindu Parishad is set to hold an important meeting Friday as it begins to prepare a fresh action plan for the construction of Ram temple in Ayodhya, which was recently put on hold citing “situation at the India-China border”.
At the meeting, the VHP will discuss plans about expediting the temple construction amid the Covid-19 pandemic and its own contribution in it, sources told ThePrint. It will also discuss how to get people to reach Ayodhya for kar seva (religious service) during the temple construction while following social distancing.
“There is likely to be a discussion on how to go ahead with the construction while following all social distancing norms. As soon as the construction of Ram temple starts, VHP workers will visit all Hindu families and launch a campaign,” said a source in the Right-wing organisation.
“Right now, problems are being faced in finalising any kind of programme due to the Covid-19 pandemic,” said the source.
The meeting will be attended by VHP vice-president Champat Rai, who is also the general secretary of the Ram Janmabhoomi Teerth Kshetra, the government-appointed trust to oversee the construction.
Disagreements among some Hindu saints were reported earlier this month regarding the height and model of the Ram temple to be constructed. Friday’s meeting is likely to discuss this issue too.
Some sadhus were unhappy and had said the proposed model of the temple did not do justice to the stature of Lord Ram, demanding that the temple should be the “most magnificent” in the world. This faction was also angry over not getting a place in the Ram Janmabhoomi Teerth Kshetra. However, Rai had said at the time that everything was fine.
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“Since then, key persons from VHP have been meeting and discussing the matter with all the sadhus,” said the source, adding that the leaders will also evaluate how many sadhus have been consulted so far on the construction, and ascertain if there is any dispute still left.
Other organisational matters of the VHP will be discussed too.
Who will attend?
Apart from Rai, several senior VHP office-bearers are scheduled to attend the meeting, including central general secretary Vinayak Rao.
Rai’s participation has raised expectations that key discussions will be held regarding the construction of Ram temple. While the VHP has not made any official statement, it confirmed that the meeting is taking place Friday.
“On 26 June, the organisational secretaries of Awadh, Kashi, Kanpur and Gorakhpur prants, including the president, Bajrang Dal convenors and some key office-bearers, will be meeting in Karsevakapuram (Ayodhya),” VHP’s organisation secretary for Lucknow region, Ambareesh, told ThePrint.
PM Modi’s participation
Earlier this month, ThePrint had reported that the Ram Janmabhoomi Teertha Kshetra had completed all its necessary preparations for the groundbreaking ceremony of Ram temple in Ayodhya and was awaiting Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s nod for his participation in the programme in Ayodhya.
However, due to Covid, a fresh plan is under discussion now on how soon the ceremony can be held.
The VHP had drawn up a plan to organise the ceremony and commence temple construction in April, ensuring participation of its workers from every village, district and state of the country. But the Covid pandemic and the subsequent lockdown held up the plan.
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