Ayodhya: Uttar Pradesh chief minister Yogi Adityanath on Monday said that COVID-19 protocol will be strictly followed during the “bhoomi pujan” ceremony for Ram temple and only those invited should come.
"COVID-19 protocol will be strictly followed at the event. As the Prime Minister will be here representing 135 crore people, I appeal that only those who have been invited should visit Ayodhya. The rest should remain at their respective places," Adityanath said, adding no laxity will be allowed.
As details of the invitation card and guest list were unveiled on Monday, reports said that only five people will be on the stage for the event — Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) chief Mohan Bhagwat, Uttar Pradesh governor Anandiben Patel, chief minister Yogi Adityanath and Mahant Nritya Gopaldas.
The invite, which has an image of the idol of "Ram Lalla" or infant Lord Ram, mentions Modi and three others.
Invites have been sent to some 200 people for the elaborate "Bhoomi Pujan" organised on Wednesday in the middle of the nation's coronavirus fight.
The invitations are only for residents of Ayodhya. The first invite went to Iqbal Ansari, one of the Muslim litigants in the Ayodhya case, according to news agency ANI.
Adityanath, who was here to oversee preparations for the August 5 event, said it was a "historic and emotional" moment which will lay the "foundation of a new India".
"It is not only a historic but also an emotional moment as after 500 years the Ram temple work will start. It will be the foundation of a new India," he said.
The chief minister urged the people to light earthen lamps, decorate temples and recite Ramayana in memory of those "who laid down their lives in the temple struggle".
For those who are keen to visit Ayodhya, arrangements will be made to bring people from every district once the coronavirus pandemic is over, he said.
The chief minister reached Ayodhya in the afternoon and visited the Ram Janmabhoomi site where the bhoomi pujan is to be held. He also paid obeisance to Ramlalla (the idol of Lord Ram as an infant), visited Hanuman Garhi temple and gave directions to senior officers from the dais, where the main event is scheduled to be held.
Additional chief secretary (home) Awanish Kumar Awasthi, Ayodhya district magistrate Anuj Kumar Jha and DIG Deepak Kumar also accompanied the chief minister, a senior official said here.
The chief minister was scheduled to visit Ayodhya on Sunday but it was cancelled due to the death of state minister Kamla Rani Varun, who had contracted COVID-19....