The Mumbai BJP is planning to arrange at least one train to Ayodhya from each of the 36 assembly segments of the city, senior BJP leader Pravin Darekar has said. The efforts are a part of a massive outreach initiative being planned by the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS), Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP) and other affiliate organisations, he added.
"The people are super excited about the inauguration of Ram Mandir in Ayodhya. We have planned several programmes on January 22, 2024, the day when the temple will be inaugurated. Along with that we are also contemplating whether it will be possible to take a trainload of Shri Ram devotees to Ayodhya. Party workers are saying we can have at least one train from every assembly constituency. However, things are yet to take any shape. The whole discussion around this is still at a very early stage," Darekar told the FPJ.
'VHP is leading the whole outreach programme'
"Keeping in view the public sentiments about Ram Mandir, on January 22, the party shall certainly organise various public programs for live screening of the inauguration of the Ram Mandir at Ayodhya across the city as we had done several times in the past. The VHP is leading the whole outreach programme. We are having a Samanvaya Baithak (co-ordination meeting) this week when we are hoping to get a more clear picture as to what all things are being planned, who has been given responsibility for which aspect etc. It will take some time for the clear picture to emerge," said Kandivali MLA Atul Bhatkhalkar who is leading the BJP strategy group for BMC elections.
'Appealed to people to celebrate Ram Mandir inauguration at nearest temple'
"The whole city of Mumbai is divided into 1,280 localities (Basti) and most of the programs would be organised on that level. Generally every locality has two-three temples. We have appealed to people across the country to celebrate the inauguration of Ram Mandir at Ayodhya at their nearest temple. So, programmes will be arranged at thousands of temples across the city that day. Besides, ahead of the actual inauguration of the temple, we shall contact households with 'Akshata' (raw unbroken rice - A traditional form of invitation for a sacred ceremony) to invite people to participate in the inauguration ceremony of the grand temple at Ayodhya," said Sriraj Nair, the publicity secretary of Konkan prant VHP.
Though he declined to give numbers, he stated that lakhs of households across the city will be contacted ahead of the Ram Mandir inauguration ceremony in January. Apart from households, all the religious places, the muts, the Buddhist Viharas, Jain Derasars and Sikh Gurudwaras too will be given invitations to participate in the celebrations for inauguration of the grand temple at Ayodhya.
In order to avoid overcrowding at Ayodhya, the VHP is also planning to allot slots for its 45 Prants across India. "The Konkan Prant is likely to get a slot in the month of February 2024," Nair added.