Arvind Sawant (L), Uddhav Thackeray (2L), Aaditya Thackeray (2R), and Sanjay Raut (R) arriving to offer prayers at the makeshift Ram Lalla temple, in Ayodhya, in 2019.
Arvind Sawant (L), Uddhav Thackeray (2L), Aaditya Thackeray (2R), and Sanjay Raut (R) arriving to offer prayers at the makeshift Ram Lalla temple, in Ayodhya, in 2019.
PTI Photo

The Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP) on Monday slammed Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray after the latter said that the ground-breaking ceremony for the Ram temple construction in Ayodhya can be conducted through video-conference in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic.

VHP's Alok Kumar said, "The statement of Uddhav Thackeray only shows his blind opposition and we do mourn such a fall of what once was a Hindutva party led by the legendary Balasaheb Thackeray."

Kumar added that the 'Bhoomi Pujan' is a sacred and essential ritual which cannot be done by e-conference. "Before starting any construction we worship the Mother Earth, seek her permission to dig and construct structures and obtain her blessings for the mission," he said.

Earlier, in an interview published in the Shiv Sena mouthpiece ''Saamana'', Uddhav said he can go to Ayodhya in Uttar Pradesh for the ceremony, however, as lakhs of other "Ram bhakts" cannot go amid the pandemic, an e-bhoomi pujan can be done.

"An e-bhoomi pujan can be done. The ground-breaking ceremony can be held through video-conference. This is an event of joy, and lakhs of people would be interested in attending the ceremony. Will we allow the spread of coronavirus?" he said.

"This is not an ordinary temple. Today, we are fighting the coronavirus pandemic and religious gatherings are prohibited. I can go to Ayodhya for the ceremony, but what about lakhs of Ram bhakts. Will you stop them? You can do e-bhoomi pujan through video-conference," he suggested.

The Bhoomi Pujan at the Ram Temple in Ayodhya is all set to take place on August 5. Prime Minister Narendra Modi will lay the foundation stone at 12:30 pm. The event will be telecasted live on Doordarshan and other channels, said Shri Ram Janmbhoomi Teerth Kshetra

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