Advani, other Ram Mandir agitation leaders to be invited to 'bhumi pujan'

Brick carvings at Ram Janmabhoomi Nyas Karyashala in Ayodhya. Photo: PTI
Former deputy prime minister L K Advani and other leaders of the Ram Janmabhoomi agitation will be invited to the bhumi pujan for the construction of the Ayodhya temple, a Ram Mandir trust member said.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi is likely to visit Ayodhya on August 5 for the ceremony.

Kameshwar Chaupal, a member of Shri Ram Janmabhoomi Teertha Kshetra, a trust set up by the Centre to oversee the construction of the temple, said they will invite former deputy PM L K Advani and Murli Manohar Joshi, Uma Bharti and Vinay Katiyar.

Currently, the BJP leaders are facing a trial in the Babri Masjid demolition case.

The trust has kept it in mind that former deputy prime minister Lal Krishna Advani, along with other leaders, took the Ram Mandir movement to the masses, Chaupal said, adding that the list of invitees is being finalised.

Santosh Dubey, an accused in the Babri Masjid demolition case, said the present generation of BJP leaders was not active in the Ram Mandir movement, which mobilised the Hindu masses to vote for the party.

But the senior leaders who started the Ram Mandir movement and mobilised the community are now in political exile, Dubey said.

Ram Mandir trust spokesperson Nritya Gopal Das said five silver bricks will be placed inside the sanctum sanctorum during the ceremony.

The bricks are believed to symbolise five planets as per the Hindu mythology, he said, adding that the design and the architecture of the temple is the same as the one proposed.

According to trust sources, Home Minister Amit Shah, Defence Minister Rajnath Singh, RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat , Maharashtra Chief Minister Udhav Thackeray and Bihar CM Nitish Kumar are also on the list of invitees.

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