The COVID-19 crisis in the country will disappear with the blessings of Lord Ram, the Shiv Sena said today, and pointed out that veterans like LK Advani and Murli Manohar Joshi won't be present in Ayodhya for the temple 'bhoomi pujan' ceremony.
An editorial in the party mouthpiece 'Saamana' took a dig at the August 5 ceremony being held amid rising cases of coronavirus in the country, reported news agency Press Trust of India.
"There is no other golden moment like the one when Prime Minister Modi performs the 'bhoomi pujan' at Ayodhya, the Sena said. "Coronavirus is there, but will disappear with Lord Ram's blessings," it added.
Mr Advani and Mr Joshi, key leaders associated with the Ram temple construction campaign, will witness the ceremony via video conferencing from Delhi, the editorial noted.
They were advised not to attend the ceremony in view of their age and the outbreak of COVID-19 in Ayodhya, it said.
Uma Bharti, another prominent leader attached to the campaign, will also not be present at the ceremony and will instead watch it "from the banks of the Sarayu river through the eyes of her mind", the Sena said.
There is excitement in the country in view of the 'bhoomi pujan' ceremony, the Sena said. "Coronavirus has spread in Ayodhya, Uttar Pradesh and the entire country. This crisis, too, will fade away with the blessings of Lord Ram," it said.
The responsibility of security arrangements in Ayodhya was with the Home Ministry, but it is unfortunate that Home Minister Amit Shah tested coronavirus positive, it said.
Despite the presence of the Prime Minister, the RSS Chief, Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister and others, the ceremony will be lacklustre without Amit Shah, the Sena said.
It said Amit Shah participated in a public event in Delhi last Saturday and attended the cabinet meeting last Wednesday observing social distancing norms, and has asked those who came in his contact in the past few days to isolate themselves and get tested for coronavirus.
The entire Council of Ministers needs to be isolated, if the Home Minister is saying this, it said.
Amit Shah is close to PM Modi but nothing will happen to the Prime Minister and the Home Minister due the blessings of Lord Ram, it said.
(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)