There is reportedly a rift between PM Narendra Modi-led BJP government at the Centre and the Vishwa Hindu Parishad, an RSS outfit which championed the Ram temple movement in the 90s, over issues pertaining to shifting of Ram lalla, with a large section of it feeling ‘sidelined and humiliated’.
In an off-record conversation with National Herald, a disgruntled VHP leader from Uttar Pradesh said that everything regarding the shifting of Ram lalla statue in the proposed Ram temple is being decided by the “Modi-Shah appointed trust”.
It may be recalled that the Centre constituted a 15-member Shri Ram Janmabhoomi Teertha Kshetra Trust to oversee the construction of the Ram temple in Ayodhya after the SC ruling in February 2020.
The Trust is headed by nonagenarian lawyer K Parasaran, also known as the ‘God’s advocate’, and comprises of several representatives from Hindu maths across the nation including Nirmohi Akhara, state and central governments and a Dalit.
“A large section of VHP leaders, activists, and those foot-soldiers who have participated in the temple movement over the years are feeling neglected as they had not even been invited to take part or even observe the two-day long pooja being performed in Ayodhya,” the VHP leader complained.
In a veiled reference to PM Modi, Home Minister Amit Shah and UP CM Yogi Adityanath, another VHP activist expressed his unhappiness over the way the pooja is being performed.
“We had differences over the date and mahurat (the pious time) as to when the statue should be shifted. But our concerns had not been addressed by the Trust because they have the blessings of the highest authorities,” he said.
When asked, a VHP spokesperson told National Herald that apart from Champat Rai, the international general secretary of VHP; Anuj Jha, District Magistrate of Ayodhya; Anil Mishra, an Ayodhya-based Homeopathy practitioner and a member of former Ayodhya royalty had been invited for the pooja.
“Priests from Haridwar, Ayodhya, and Delhi have been called to perform pooja at the site,” said the leader who was the chief organiser of a rally held in November 2018 to build pressure for the construction of Ram temple. He added that UP CM Adityanath is likely to take part in the final ceremony that will be held on March 25.
According to sources, the final shifting of the Ram lalla statue – which was placed under the then Babri mosque in 1940s for the first time, and in a make shift tent after the demolition of the mosque – will be shifted to the proposed temple site at around 4 am on March 25.
While gung-ho BJP leaders and activists are celebrating the event, the temple town whose roads and bylanes are full of pilgrims, wears a deserted look.
A local journalist and a resident of the town told NH that there is no enthusiasm among locals about the shifting celebration.
“Due to the COVID-19 outbreak, people are mostly confined to their home,” he said, echoing the views expressed by the disgruntled VHP leaders and activists. He added, “Modi and Shah have stolen the show and that is causing pain in the heart of a section of the VHP leaders”.