Ahead of the Ayodhya Ram Temple event, Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan today said the temple's construction was sure to bring "Ram Rajya", an era of good fortune, under the leadership of Prime Minister Narendra Modi and urged people to light earthen lamps on the eve and the day of the groundbreaking ceremony, likening it to Diwali - the return of Lord Ram to his birthplace.
"I have a belief that with the construction of #RamTemple, Ram Rajya will come to the country under PM Modi's leadership. I appeal to all to light earthen lamps at their homes on the nights of 4th & 5th August to express our happiness (sic)," tweeted Mr Chouhan, who is among the four Madhya Pradesh ministers who were admitted to a hospital after they contracted the coronavirus.
Prime Minister Modi is scheduled to lay the foundation stone of the Ram Temple on Wednesday in a grand ceremony which will be attended by several dignitaries and at least 200 priests.
In the backdrop of the epidemic, the event has rasied healthy and safety concerns as a priest and 14 policemen on duty at Ayodhya's Ram Janambhoomi complex have tested positive for coronavirus. Some dignitaries who were invited for the event, including Home Minister Amit Shah, have also tested positive for the virus in the last few days.
However, the temple trust has said the programme will go ahead as planned, maintaining all the safety rules for coronavirus. Currently, Uttar Pradesh has 38,023 active cases of coronavirus.
The proposed temple is expected to be almost double the size of what was originally planned.
In November last year, the Supreme Court had paved the way for the construction of Ram temple by at the disputed site at Ayodhya, and directed the Centre to allot an alternative five-acre plot to the Sunni Waqf Board for building a new mosque at a "prominent" place in the holy town in Uttar Pradesh.