PM Narendra Modi
PM Narendra Modi
AP/PTI

Lucknow: Prime Minister Narendra Modi is most likely to lay the foundation stone of Ram Temple in Ayodhya on August 5, sources say. The Shri Ram Janmabhoomi Teerth Kshetra Trust had on Saturday given the PM two auspicious dates for the bhumi poojan as per the Hindu calendar --either August 3 or August 5 -- to pick from. The PM is said to have picked August 5.

“Official intimation in this regard is awaited. After PM’s nod, invitation letters would be prepared and sent out to people,” says Sharad Sharma, Vishwa Hindu Parishad leader.

Mahant Nritya Gopal Das would dedicate a 40 kg silver slab, and it is with this slab that the Prime Minister will lay the foundation of the Temple.

RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat, Home Minister Amit Shah, Defence Minister Rajnath Singh, Shankaracharyas and VHP leaders are likely to be among 100 plus dignitaries to attend the ritual.

Will BJP stalwarts like Lal Krishna Advani and Murli Manohar Joshi and Uma Bharti who led the Ram Temple movement in the nineties and still face court cases would be invited for the occasion? Sharma said, “The trust is yet to finalise the list of the attendees.”

The three veteran leaders are accused of instigating demolition of Babri mosque on December 6, 1992. At present, they are appearing in the court cases via video conferencing. President of the Ram Janmabhoomi Teerth Kshetra Trust Mahant Nritya Gopal Das and VHP leader and trustee Champat Rai are also accused in the same case.

The 161-feet high two floor Mandir at the 67-acre premises would be the tallest temple in the world.

While the PM would be the main jajman of the pooja, Mahant Nritya Gopal Das, president of the Ram Janmabhoomi Teerth Kshetra Trust, would sit next to him. “Vedic scholars from Kashi and Ayodhya who belong to Ramanan Sampraday would perform the rituals,” Sharma says.

The trust officials say that all rules laid down by the administration including limited strength and social distancing would be followed.

Sharma says, “Prasad (food served to God and distributed among others) would be prepared in Sita Rasoi (believed to be the ancient kitchen of wife of Lord Ram) and we hope that PM would have prasad here.”

Amid the relaxed restrictions of coronavirus lockdown, the temple trust had met in Ayodhya on Saturday and sent the dates to Prime Minister Modi.

The temple construction will commence after the foundation stone-laying ceremony. The trust has estimated that construction of the temple will be completed in 3 to 3.5 years, i.e by 2023.

“The trust would contact 10 crore families across 4 lakh localities of the country for fund collection post Monsoon”, VHP official and trustee Champat Rai says.

Larsen & Toubro (L&T) which will prepare the basic structure and Gujarat firm Sompura Marbles would do marbles and stones work.

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