Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Adityanath on Saturday visited Ayodhya city to review the preparations for the ground-breaking ceremony on August 5 for the construction of a Ram temple, ANI reported. Prime Minister Narendra Modi will attend the event and set a silver brick into the ground as a symbolic gesture of ground-breaking.
The chief minister reached Ayodhya in the afternoon and offered prayers at the Ram Janmabhoomi temple site. He later held a meeting with the Ram Janmabhoomi Teerth Kshetra Trust, set up by the government to oversee the temple construction after the Supreme Court mandate last year.
“Prime Minister will be visiting Ayodhya,” Adityanath told ANI. “We will make Ayodhya the pride of India and the world. Cleanliness should be the first condition. There is an opportunity for Ayodhya to prove through self-discipline its capability and be the way the world expects to see it.”
Swami Govind Dev Giri, treasurer of Ram Janmabhoomi Teerth Kshetra Trust, had on Wednesday said that the ground-breaking 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 added. The physical presence of others will be curtailed due to the coronavirus crisis.
Dozens of giant LED screens will also be installed in Ayodhya and Faizabad cities. A member of the trust said that they have made arrangements for every devotee to “feel and experience” the event amid the restrictions.
On Friday, the Allahabad High Court dismissed a petition to restrain the foundation ceremony amid the pandemic. The court said it expects the organisers and the Uttar Pradesh government to follow physical distancing protocols.
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.
In a landmark verdict in November, the Supreme Court had ruled that the disputed land in Ayodhya would be handed over to a government-run trust for the construction of a 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.