Mumbai: Owing to the coronavirus outbreak in Ayodhya, Maharashtra Chief Minister and Shiv Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray is not likely to attend the bhoomi pujan ceremony of the Ram Mandir in the holy town.
“The situation is critical in Ayodhya and everyone believes VIP movement should be as less as possible. The Prime Minister is going there, we wish him well. The CM can go there later any time,” said senior Shiv Sena leader Sanjay Raut on Monday.
PM Narendra Modi will perform the bhoomi pujan of the proposed Ram Mandir at Ayodhya in Uttar Pradesh on August 5.
Raut’s remarks have come after UP cabinet minister Kamal Rani Varun succumbed to the virus. Earlier, there were reports that 17 people connected with the event — a priest and 16 policemen and security guards — have tested positive for coronavirus in Ayodhya.
Union Home Minister Amit Shah, who would be present at the function, has also announced that he has tested positive for coronavirus.
“We do not want to bring politics in the bhoomi pujan ceremony. There is a kind of medical emergency in Ayodhya. It is important that the PM is going there. We will go there later,” he said.
Raut reiterated Shiv Sena’s contribution towards the Ram Mandir movement saying his party laid the foundation of the temple construction.
“The temple would not have been possible had the Babri Masjid not been brought down. Even the BJP, VHP and the Sangh Parivar have accepted that Shiv Sainiks razed the mosque,” he added.
CM Thackeray has given `1 crore for it, said the Sena Rajya Sabha MP.
Incidentally, Thackeray had earlier suggested that in the view of the Covid-19 pandemic, the bhoomi pujan ceremony in Ayodhya should take place via video conferencing. However, he faced the wrath of the BJP for his demand.
The Babri Masjid in Ayodhya was demolished on December 6, 1992 by Karsevaks. The Supreme Court gave its verdict on the Ram Janmabhoomi-Babri masjid land title dispute on November 9, paving the way for temple construction. In its judgement, the SC allowed the construction of a Ram Mandir at the disputed site at Ayodhya and directed the Centre to allot a five-acre plot to the Sunni Waqf Board for building a mosque.