Ram temple construction may begin from Ram Navmi: VHP leader
The construction of Ram temple in Ayodhya is likely to start from 'Ram Navmi' in April next year. 'Ram Navmi' in 2020 falls on April 2 and the festival celebrates the birth of Lord Ram.
"There can be no better date for initiating the Ram Janmabhoomi temple. The three month deadline for setting up a trust ends in February and by then, all preparations would be completed. However, we will discuss with the government before we commit on the date," said a senior Vishwa Hindu Parishad leader (VHP).
The pre-construction work will commence from 'Makar Sankranti' in January. The VHP does not want a fresh 'shilanyas' (first stone laying ceremony) for the temple as it has already been done in November 1989.
It wants the temple to be built as per the design prepared by architect Chandrakant Sompura. The renowned temple architect had prepare the design in 1989 on the request of former VHP chief Ashok Singhal and it was circulated among devotees across the country.
Based on Sompura's design, a model of the temple is kept at Karsevakpuram in Ayodhya. VHP Working President Alok Kumar said, "We expect the new temple to be built accordingly."
He said the work on carving stones and building pillars for the temple has progressed a lot and these should be used in the construction.
The VHP chief said they expect the Modi government to include in the proposed trust members of the existing Ram Janmabhoomi Nyas and the VHP, who had been looking after preparations for temple construction so far.
The VHP soon plans to hold a meeting of the 'Margdarshak Mandal' to work out the modalities of temple construction and fund mobilisation.
Carving of stones at the workshop in Karsevakpuram is also expected to resume in full force by the end of this month, when artisans return to Ayodhya from their homes in Gujarat and Rajasthan.
According to VHP's claim, 1.25 lakh cubic feet of stone has been carved and 1.75 lakh cubic feet of sandstone will be required for the full construction of the temple.
Sources claim that the temple construction would need around four years, which implies that it will be ready before the 2024 general elections.
"With the BJP in power at the Centre and in Uttar Pradesh, we are confident that there will be no delay. UP Chief Minister Yogi Adityanth has extended his whole hearted cooperation and will help in infrastructural matters for temple construction. Uninterrupted power supply and widening of roads is mainly what we need to facilitate it," the VHP leader said.