Madhya Pradesh Assembly Pro tem Speaker Rameshwar Sharma claimed on Wednesday that construction of the Ram temple will destroy the coronavirus, ANI reported on Thursday.

“He [Ram] had reincarnated for the welfare of mankind and to kill demons,” Sharma told reporters in Gwalior. “As soon as the construction of Ram Temple begins, the destruction of the Covid-19 pandemic will begin too.”

Sharma, a Bharatiya Janata Party leader, said that the coronavirus has affected not just India but the whole world. “We are not only observing social distancing but also remembering our holy figures,” he said. “The Supreme Court has ordered that Ram temple will be built.”

In a landmark verdict on November 9 last year, the Supreme Court had ruled that the previously disputed land in Ayodhya would be handed over to a government-run trust for the construction of Ram Temple. The court said that the demolition of Babri Masjid was illegal and directed the government to acquire an alternative plot of land to build a mosque.

Earlier on Wednesday, the trust set up by the government to oversee the construction of the temple announced that Prime Minister Narendra Modi will attend the “bhoomi poojan” or the ground-breaking ceremony on August 5. Swami Govind Dev Giri, treasurer of Ram Janmabhoomi Teerth Kshetra Trust said that the ceremony would be held around noon and Modi would offer prayers at Hanuman Garhi and the makeshift temple of the idol of Ramlalla before that.

A total of 200 people, including 150 invitees, would be allowed for the ceremony, Giri said. The physical presence of others will be curtailed due to the coronavirus crisis.

The trust met on July 18 to decide on the date of starting the construction work after it had to be put on hold for a few months because of the pandemic.