Around 175 guests, including 135 seers from across the country and kin of the ‘kar sevaks’ killed in police firing in 1990, have been invited to attend the foundation ceremony of the Ram temple in Ayodhya on August 5 informed the Trust, which will be building.
Five persons including Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh chief Mohan Bhagwat, will be on stage, shared Champat Rai, general secretary of Shri Ram Janmabhoomi Teerth Kshetra (Trust).
Senior BJP leader Uma Bharti, posted on Twitter that she would not be present at the event as she was seriously concerned about Mr. Modi’s health over COVID-19, following some party leaders testing positive, and would only go to the site once he and other dignitaries left.
The other three persons on the stage would be Mahant Nrityagopal Das, head of the Trust, Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath and Uttar Pradesh Governor Anandiben Patel.
Iqbal Ansari, who was a litigant in the Babri Masjid-Ram Janmabhoomi case, and local resident Mohammad Shareef, who was awarded Padma Shri for years of performing the last rites of unclaimed bodies, have also been invited, according to Mr. Rai.
The Trust started distributing the invitation cards on Monday and they decided to go with security codes that allowed entry only once and were non-transferable.
On Wednesday, Mr. Modi would first offer prayers at the Hanumangarhi temple and follow it up with puja at the present makeshift temple site where the idol of infant Lord Ram is kept and then the bhoomi pujan and stage event, the Trust informed.
The idol of Lord Ram will don a green dress during the ceremony. Mr. Rai criticised those questioning the choice of colour. He said the dress worn daily by infant Lord Ram idol was picked the head priest, who did not make changes under anyone’s influence.
“All trees around us are green, do you see Islam in it? Green is the symbol of prosperity of India and the colour of nature”, Mr. Rai said at a press conference. It was not a matter pertaining to the PMO, the CMO or the Trust, he emphasised.
Mr. Rai also said that the “original drawing” of the temple would remain “as it is” and only certain portions would be added as the Trust has now got almost 70 acres in possession. When the Ram Janmabhoomi movement started in 1985, they had only 14,000 sq feet of land in mind. “In 1986, we didn’t even think in our dreams that we would get 70 acres”, he added.