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VHP meet in November to discuss the campaign for Ram temple donations

With the construction of a Ram temple in Ayodhya expected to start from October 15, the Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP) will, in its annual meeting in Delhi next month, discuss its door-to-door campaign to reach out to 11 crore Hindu families from January 15 for donations for the temple.

In the meeting, VHP’s Kendriya Margdarshak Mandal, comprising more than 300 saints, will also discuss other topics such as ‘love jihad’ and women safety.

“We have already planned a meeting of the Kendriya Margdarshak Mandal on November 10-11. This is a routine annual meeting. Several saints from all over the country take part in it and discuss important issues. Generally, around 300 saints participate in these meetings, but we have to prepare a detailed plan for this year. From around January 15, we are planning to start a widespread door-to-door campaign to reach out to around 11 crore Hindu families from more than 5 lakh villages and connect with them directly with the construction of the Ram temple. Of the 5 lakh villages, 4 lakh had sent worshipped shilas in 1989 from the Ram temple,” VHP national spokesperson Vinod Bansal said adding that the campaign would last for 90 days.


Reaching out to miffed saints
While the Kendriya Margdarshak Madal meeting will focus on collecting funds for the Ram temple, sources suggested that another aim was to reach out to the saints who were disappointed for not being invited to the August 5 Bhoomi Pujan ceremony on account of the coronavirus. But with no let-up in the spread of the virus, the VHP might not be allowed to hold a large gathering in Delhi.

“We will show our gratitude to them and ask them for their contribution as many want to do the same. As they cannot come to the temple (to contribute), we will bring the temple to them. Other than that, if the coronavirus situation gets better, we are planning to allow people from one district at a time to visit Ram Janmabhoomi and witness the historic feat. All these things can be discussed in the November meeting.

Other topics that are likely to be taken up are love jihad and women safety,” he added.

At a press meet in Prayagraj on Friday, general secretary of the Shri Ram Janambhoomi Teerth Kshetra Trust, Champat Rai had expressed satisfaction with the pace of construction and reiterated that the temple would be completed in the next three years.

“At present, tests and research on the strength and age of the foundation are being undertaken. Larsen & Toubro has involved experts from IIT Madras and Central Building Research Institute (CBRI)-Roorkee. Experts from both the institutions have visited Ayodhya and have reviewed the work. Another team of experts from IIT Madras is coming again in the second week of the month. We have to do piling of 1,200 pillars of 1 metre in diameter and 100 ft in depth. We are not going to use iron anywhere in the temple due to rust and short life span,” he said.

He confirmed that the campaign would start after the VHP meeting and that the plan would be to reach out more than half of the Hindu population in the country. He said that of the 300 saints who would take part in the meet, some had attended the ground breaking ceremony on August 5.

To a question on Akhara Parishad’s call to “free” Hindu temple in Varanasi and Mathura, Rai clarified that he did not take decisions for the VHP anymore and that learned people should take the second step only after a firm first one.