VHP cautious on temple construction, will wait for trust
With Union Home Minister Amit Shah making it clear that no BJP member will be a part of the trust for the Ram temple's construction, the mood in the Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP) is now upbeat.
Saints and seers in Ayodhya have not only welcomed the decision but have also said that this would maintain the religious sanctity of the issue.
The Ram Janambhoomi temple's chief priest Satyendra Das said that temple's construction is a huge responsibility and "only wise and intellectual persons" should be included in the trust.
Mahant Kanhaiya Das of Ayodhya Sant Samiti said that only non-political devotees should be included in the trust.
Meanwhile, sources said that the VHP, which has been the cornerstone of the temple movement, will resort to crowd funding to raise about Rs 100 crore for the temple construction.
A senior VHP leader said: "We plan to limit the contribution by each Ram Bhakt to just Rs 10, which would be collected through specially printed coupons. Once the trust is formed, we will make a formal announcement about fund collection."
In its Ayodhya verdict, the Supreme Court had directed the Centre to set up a trust for construction of the Ram temple. The trust office bearers are likely to make the appeal for crowd-funding at the Sant Sammelan that the VHP plans to hold at the Magh Mela in Prayagraj in February 2020.
Amit Shah has also made it clear that the government would not fund the temple construction.
VHP Working President Alok Kumar said: "The VHP will not make any announcement for crowd funding. Instead, the trust will issue an appeal. I want to make it clear that the VHP will not collect any funds for temple construction and neither will we construct the temple. All this will be managed by the trust."
Similarly, VHP Vice President Champat Rai said: "When the time comes, things in this direction would be announced. I will not commit anything right now and I appeal to all to let things take shape on their own."
Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath had recently made an appeal at an election rally in Jharkhand that every Hindu family should contribute Rs 11 and a brick for construction of Ram temple in Ayodhya.
VHP leader Puneet Verma also said every Hindu should contribute to construction of the temple and no single political party should take credit for the same. The VHP had earlier raised Rs 35 million (Rs 3.50 crore) through donations from across the country till 1989 when every Ram Bhakt contributed Rs 1.25 for the cause.
The money was spent mainly in purchase of stone slabs and carvings for the proposed temple.IANS