Bharatiya Janata Party MP Pragya Thakur claimed on Saturday that reciting the Hanuman Chalisa five times a day at 7 pm till August 5 will get rid of the coronavirus pandemic. August 5 is the date set for the bhoomi pujan, or ground-breaking ceremony, of the Ram temple in Ayodhya.

“Let us all of us together make a spiritual effort to wish people good health and end the coronavirus epidemic,” Thakur, an MP from Bhopal, tweeted. “Recite ‘Hanuman Chalisa’ five times a day at your home from July 25 to August 5. Conclude this ritual by lighting lamps on August 5 and offering ‘’aarti’’ to Lord Ram at home.” She claimed that the coronavirus will disappear when Hindus from across the country chant the prayer “in one voice”.

In a video, Thakur said that the BJP government in Madhya Pradesh will end the lockdown on August 4. “Though the lockdown will be over on August 4, this ritual [recitation of Hanuman Chalisa] will end on August 5, when ‘bhoomi pujan’ for Ram temple in Ayodhya will be performed,” she said. “We will celebrate that day like Diwali.”

On July 23, Madhya Pradesh Assembly Protem Speaker Rameshwar Sharma had claimed that building the Ram temple will get rid of the contagion. “He [Ram] had reincarnated for the welfare of mankind and to kill demons,” Sharma had told reporters in Gwalior. “As soon as the construction of Ram Temple begins, the destruction of the Covid-19 pandemic will begin too.”

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.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi will attend the ground-breaking ceremony of the temple.