The Ram Mandir bhoomi pujan ceremony is slated to take place on August 5. The temple is likely to be completed before the next general elections in 2024.
The Vishwa Hindu Parishad has slammed Maharashtra Chief Minister and Shiv Sena supremo for suggesting that the Ram Mandir bhoomi pujan can be conducted through video-conference in the wake of the coronavirus outbreak. VHP’s working president Alok Kumar said that the comments of Uddhav show his “blind opposition” and went on to note that Shiv Sena is not the same that it was under the leadership of staunch Hindutva supporter Bala Sahab Thackeray.
“We mourn such a fall of what once was a Hindutva party led by the legendary Bala Saheb Thackeray,” he said.
Alok Kumar said that bhoomi pujan is a ritual and is performed before starting any construction work. “We worship Mother Earth, seek her permission to dig and construct structures and obtain her blessings for the mission,” he said.
Uddhav Thackeray had on Sunday said the ground-breaking ceremony for the Ram Mandir construction in Ayodhya can be conducted through video-conference.
Thackeray’s Shiv Sena was among the oldest allies of the BJP and shared power at the Centre and Maharashtra before parting ways in November 2019 after the Assembly elections in Maharashtra. Uddhav sided with once arch-rivals Congress and NCP to form government in the state. He now heads an alliance government comprising three parties — Shiv Sena, NCP and Congress.
“An e-bhoomi pujan can be done. The ground-breaking ceremony can be held through video-conference. This is an event of joy, and lakhs of people would be interested in attending the ceremony. Will we allow the spread of coronavirus?” Thackeray said in an interview published in party’s mouthpiece Saamna.
Uddhav, who had been vocal for the construction of Ram Mandir before joining the ranks with the NCP and Congress, said that he can go to Ayodhya for the bhoomi pujan, but asked if lakhs of Ram bhakts can be stopped from going there.
“This is not an ordinary temple. Today, we are fighting the coronavirus pandemic and religious gatherings are prohibited. I can go to Ayodhya for the ceremony, but what about lakhs of Ram bhakts. Will you stop them? You can do e-bhoomi pujan through video-conference,” he suggested.
The bhoomi pujan ceremony is slated to take place on August 5. The Shri Ram Janmabhoomi Teertha Kshetra Trust has invited Prime Minister Narendra Modi for for the ceremony. The temple is likely to be completed before the next general elections in 2024.