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PM Modi to spend nearly 3 hours in Ayodhya; Mohan Bhagwat to be ‘special guest’



NEW DELHI: Prime Minister Narendra Modi will spend nearly three hours in Ayodhya on Wednesday for the ‘karya prambh’ (ground breaking) ceremony for the Ram Temple. RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat will be a “special guest” at the event.

Modi will offer prayers at noon at the makeshift temple where the Ram Lalla deity is currently placed, spending about 10-12 minutes there, as per the details of his itinerary emerging now. The chief priest of the temple, Mahant Satyendra Das, will not be present on the occasion as he is in quarantine, after two other priests tested positive for Covid-19 last week.

The PM will plant a night-blooming jasmine in the Ram Janmabhoomi premises and take a walk till the point where the garbhagriha (sanctum sanctorum) of the temple is to come up. He will conduct the ‘bhoomi pujan’ at the new temple’s site between 12:30 pm and 12:40 pm — an auspicious time as per ‘abhijit muhurat’.

A formal 75-minute-long function will follow with Modi, Bhagwat and UP chief minister Yogi Adityanath addressing the attendees from a stage next to the site. Ram Temple Trust chairman Mahant Nritya Gopal Das and UP governor Anandiben Patel will also be on the stage. Late VHP leader Ashok Singhal’s nephew, Salil Singhal, will be the chief guest. The PM will also release a postal stamp on the temple.

LK Advani and Murli Manohar Joshi have been formally invited but will not make it due to the age factor. “It would have been difficult for people above 90 years of age, like LK Advani and K Parasaran to travel to Ayodhya,” the trust’s general secretary, Champat Rai, said.


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