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regular-article-logo Sunday, 03 March 2024

Prime Minister Narendra Modi's inauguration hint in Ayodhya call to VIPs

Uttar Pradesh government says PM may offer inaugural prayers between 11am and noon on January 22, 2024

Piyush Srivastava Lucknow Published 14.10.23, 05:46 AM
Construction under way for the Ram Janmabhoomi Mandir in Ayodhya last month.

Construction under way for the Ram Janmabhoomi Mandir in Ayodhya last month. PTI picture

The trust undertaking the construction of the Ram temple has appealed to VIPs not to visit Ayodhya on January 22, 2024, following which sources in the Uttar Pradesh government said Prime Minister Narendra Modi could offer inaugural prayers there between 11am and noon on that day.

The Shree Ram Janmabhoomi Teerth Kshetra Trust did not offer any reason for its request. “Chief ministers, governors, ambassadors and all those who enjoy visit-and-security-related protocol shouldn’t come to Ayodhya on January 22. We or the local administration wouldn’t be able to welcome them,” Champat Rai, general secretary of the trust, told reporters at his office in the temple town on Friday. He parried questions on a possible date for the temple's inauguration.

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A government official said later: “It was decided at a meeting two days ago that the Prime Minister would offer the first prayer at the new Ram temple on January 22. The PMO has agreed to it but it would be unwise on our part to announce the chief guest’s programme. The PMO will announce it soon if everything goes well. The temple will be opened for the general public on January 26.”

Rai said devotees from abroad had been advised to get in touch with the foreign department of the Vishwa Hindu Parishad, where a contact person has been appointed for each country.

“These contact persons will coordinate with the Ayodhya administration and fix a day for devotees from every county to offer prayers here,” he said.

Mosque

The Uttar Pradesh Sunni Central Waqf Board has decided to change the map of the mosque that will be built in Ayodhya's Dhannipur village, where the state government had allotted them 5 acres on the direction of the Supreme Court in 2019.

Zufar Ahmad Faruqi, chairman of the UPSCWB and chief trustee of Indi-Islamic Cultural Foundation, was quoted telling reporters that they had held a meeting in Mumbai two days ago where it was decided that it would be developed as the biggest mosque in the country. There will also be a 300-bed hospital on the campus of the mosque for the treatment of the poor.

“We will soon start the construction of the mosque,” Faruqi said.

Haji Arfat Shaikh, a BJP leader from Mumbai, was quoted by the media as saying that the mosque would be named Mohammad Ibn Abdullah Masjid.

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