Ram Temple Trust to be announced this week amid rumblings among stakeholders

The proposed trust has to be set up before February 9 in compliance with the Supreme Court’s historic November 9, 2019 verdict over the dispute.

Published: 03rd February 2020 04:01 PM  |   Last Updated: 03rd February 2020 04:01 PM   |  A+A-

Stone slabs brought in for construction of the temple in Ayodhya, UP

Stone slabs brought in for construction of the temple in Ayodhya, UP | file photo

Express News Service

LUCKNOW: With the three-month deadline set by the Supreme Court for the Centre to constitute the Ram Temple Trust to facilitate the construction of a temple in Ayodhya just six days away, a notification in this connection by the Union Home Ministry is expected this week.

Meanwhile, rumblings over the model of the temple are on among various stakeholders. As per the sources, the temple construction may commence between March 25 and April 2, the auspicious days of Chaitra Navratri which culminates in Ram Navami, the birth date of Lord Ram.

The proposed trust has to be set up before February 9 in compliance with the Supreme Court’s historic November 9, 2019 verdict over the dispute.

Notably, the central government was entrusted by the apex court to set up the trust within three months of the deliverance of the order. The court had also directed the Centre to include people from different walks of life in the proposed temple trust to ensure the construction of the temple over 2.77 acres of land at the birthplace of Lord Ram in Ayodhya.

The apex court had also issued directives to the Ayodhya district administration to hand over the 67-acre adjoining land to the Centre besides allocating a 5-acre plot to the Uttar Pradesh Sunni Waqf Board to build a mosque anywhere in Ayodhya.

If sources are to be believed, a separate ‘Ayodhya desk’ at the Union Home Ministry is already working out the modalities of the trust and the broader blueprint on the acquisition of land and the model of the temple is in the final stages.

The sources claimed that the proposed trust would have 11 members. While officials from the Union home ministry and UP government are likely to be in the trust, VHP national vice-president Champat Rai, who is an accused in the Babri demolition case, may also find a place. Moreover, mahants from a few Akharas including the Nirmohi Akhara and Ramjanmabhoomi Nyas may also be included in the trust but no one from the BJP is likely to be part of it.

The sources also claimed that the RSS has been playing a major role in setting up the trust. RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat had given ample hints in this connection during his stay in Moradabad last month.

The proposed trust is likely to go for crowdfunding for the temple construction. An idea to seek donations of as little as Rs 11 per family is under consideration. BJP leaders may issue public appeals in this regard. UP CM Yogi Adityanath had made a similar appeal while campaigning for the Jharkhand polls.

However, there have been some rumblings among the stakeholders over the model of the temple. While the VHP is batting for its model designed way back in 1984, Ramalaya Nyas secretary Swami Avimukteshwaranand Saraswati wants revisions in the model. “It should have such ‘Divya’ and ‘Bhavya’ that no other construction in the world could match it,” he said.

On the contrary, VHP acting president Alok Kumar feels that people have perceived the VHP model favourably during the last three decades, so the final structure should be according to it. “Moreover, 60 per cent work on the pillars of the temple is ready in the Karyashala (workshop) at Ayodhya,” said the VHP leader.

Even the saints of Ayodhya also advocate the model suggested by the VHP. On the contrary, former BJP MP Vinay Katiyar claimed that there would be some changes in the model proposed by the VHP.

The order regarding the allotment of five acres of land for the mosque construction is likely to come simultaneously with the announcement of the trust. The government is seemingly veering towards the idea of allotting land for the mosque outside the 67 acres acquired in Ayodhya, rather than inside it.

The UP government has already submitted a list of three-four such sites to the Centre and these fall outside the '14 Kosi' perimeters of the Ayodhya town, on the highways passing it, said state government sources.

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