Ram Mandir Bhumi Pujan: NCP rebuke for Maharashtra CM after Shiv Sena’s nudge for Ayodhya invite to Uddhav

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Updated: Jul 21, 2020 5:52 PM

The Ram mandir 'bhoomi pujan' ceremony is scheduled to be held at Ayodhya next month. The Sri Ram Janmabhoomi Teerth Kshetra Trust has invited Prime Minister Narendra Modi for the event.

Ram Mandir bhoomi pujan to take place in the first week of August.

The construction of Ram Mandir in Ayodhya, which has been a key poll plank for the Shiv Sena for decades, appears to have put the party in crosshairs with its newfound allies. The Nationalist Congress Party headed by Sharad Pawar, which shares power with the Uddhav Thackeray-helmed party, has advised the Maharashtra Chief Minister to keep himself away from the Ram Mandir bhoomi pujan ceremony in Ayodhya next month. Senior NCP leader Majeed Memon said that the head of a secular democracy should refrain from promoting a ‘particular religious activity’.

“Uddhav Thakrey is among invitees for bhoomi pujan of Ram Temple. He may participate respecting Covid 19 restrictions in his personal capacity. The head of a secular democracy should refrain from promoting a particular religious activity,” Memon, who is also a lawyer, tweeted.

The NCP’s comment comes at a time when Shiv Sena has demanded that the Ram Mandir trust invite Uddhav as the chief guest for the bhoomi pujan ceremony. Sena MP Sanjay Raut has claimed that his party paved the way for the construction of Ram Mandir in Ayodhya and removed roadblocks in the temple construction for the cause of Hindutva and not for politics. Earlier today, Raut said Uddhav Thackeray will definitely go for the ceremony.

The ‘bhoomi pujan’ ceremony is scheduled to be held at Ayodhya next month. The Sri Ram Janmabhoomi Teerth Kshetra Trust has invited Prime Minister Narendra Modi for the event. PM Modi is likely to visit Ayodhya on August 5 for the bhoomi pujan ceremony to begin the construction of a grand Ram temple. The bhoomi pujan will be performed with the placing of a 40-kg silver brick at the sanctum sanctorum. Three-day-long Vedic rituals, beginning August 3, will precede the main ceremony.

The Shiv Sena, which has been pitching for Ram Mandir for three decades, formed a government in Maharashtra with the ideologically-different NCP and Congress last year. NCP chief Sharad Pawar has also voiced opposition to the timing of the ceremony, saying such activities during the time of a health crisis was not appropriate.

“Eradication of COVID-19 is the priority of the Maharashtra government, but some people think constructing a temple will help in its mitigation,” he had told reporters.

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