NEW DELHI: The Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP) on Wednesday got a firm hold over the new Ram Janmabhoomi Teerth Kshetra Trust, as its senior members got to occupy the top two positions on the Trust.
While Ram Janambhoomi Nyas head Mahant Nritya Gopal Das was named president, VHP vice-president Champat Rai became the general secretary of the Trust after their formal induction at its first meeting here. And Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s former aide Nirpendra Misra was named chairman of the temple construction committee.
Both Mahant Nritya Gopal Das and Champat Rai are facing cases at a special CBI court in Lucknow in connection with demolition of the Babri Masjid. While no firm date was decided for beginning construction, the intent is to start it in April. Also, the Trust will follow the model proposed by the VHP 30 years ago. Rai told reporters that 60 per cent of granite stones meant for the temple’s construction, have already been carved. “The Ram temple will be based on the model that was visualised 30 years ago. The pictures of the model have reached nearly 10 crore homes and hearts of many more. And 60 per cent stones for that model have been carved.
We won’t spent another 20 years on carving stones,” Rai said. Mahant Nritya Gopal Das said, “People’s sentiments will be honoured and temple construction will be started soon.” It was also decided to open an account in Ayodhya’s State Bank of India branch for donations for the construction, Rai said. The Trust has seven members, five nominated members and three trustees. It was formed in line with the Supreme Court verdict on the Ayodhya dispute in November last year.In a statement, the Trust expressed condolence for all those who “laid down their lives for the Ram Janmabhoomi between 1528 and 1984.”
Among those present at the meeting were additional secretary in the Union home ministry Gyanesh Kumar, Uttar Pradesh government’s representative Avinash Awasthy (Additional Chief Secretary) and Ayodhya District Magistrate Anuj Kumar Jha. Senior advocate K Parasaran heads the Trust.
Pune seer appointed treasurer
Swami Govinddev Giri of Pune was appointed Trust treasurer. He received a cheque of `5 lakh from the Swami Vishwa Prasanna-theerth of Pejawar Math in Udupi, who is also a member of the trust. Former principal secretary Nripendra Misra was chosen head of the temple construction committee
There was some drama as Mahant Dharamdas of Hanumangarhi criticised the Trust. As head of the Nirvani Ani of Vaishnava Vairagi Akharas, he wanted a seat on the Trust, but was not accommodated. “Instead of people with ability, they have picked 80- and 90-year-olds,” he said