Prime Minister Narendra Modi and a host of other VIPs iwill attend the ground-breaking ceremony for the Ram temple in Ayodhya on August 5, the temple trust said. Grand preparations are on the ceremony, which will revolve around the installation of a 40 kg silver brick as the foundation stone by the Prime Minister, said the Shri Ram Janmabhoomi Teertha Kshetra, which has been tasked with the temple building.
Nritya Gopal Das, president of the the trust mandated by the Supreme Court, said the "bhoomi pujan" will be performed by placing the silver brick at the sanctum sanctorum. Three-day-long Vedic rituals will be held before the main ceremony, which will begin on August 3, reported news agency Press Trust of India.
Not more than 50 VIPs will attend the event, which was delayed by more than two months due to the coronavirus outbreak. Now, in keeping with the safety rules, the guest list has been kept limited. Giant CCTV screens have been put up across Ayodhya so the devotees can watch the programme, the Trust said.
All senior BJP leaders associated with temple movement have been invited, the Trust said. The list will include BJP veterans Lal Krishna Advani and Murali Manohar Joshi and senior leaders like Uma Bharti, Vinay Katiyar and Sadhvi Ritambhara..Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Aadityanath will also join the "bhoomi pujan" ceremony, along with seniors in the BJP's ideological mentor Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh, including its chief Mohan Bhagwat.
Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray and his Bihar counterpart Nitish Kumar are also likely to attend. ,
Mr Thackeray -- who ended his party's 35-year alliance with the BJP recently -- visited Ayodhya after taking oath as the Maharashtra Chief Minister. "Shiv Sena has removed the obstacles in the path of construction of Ram Temple. No invitation is needed to visit Ayodhya," said Sena MP Sanjay Raut.
The Trust -- set up on the directions of the Supreme Court to facilitate the construction -- met on Saturday to set a date. Initially it had mentioned two dates -- August 5 and 9 -- as auspicious and later zeroed in on August 5.
The makeshift temple built in Ayodhya opened on June 8 after the Centre allowed the opening of religious places as Unlock2 was rolled across the country.
In March, Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath had presided over a ceremony to move the idol of Lord Ram from a tin structure where it was kept for decades to a new fiber one. The visit took place within hours of PM Modi announcing the three--week lockdown.
In November last year, the Supreme Court ruled that the disputed site in Ayodhya will be given to a government-run trust for the building of a temple. Muslims, the court said, will be given a five-acre "suitable" plot elsewhere in the district.
The landmark verdict in the case -- a religious and political flashpoint for decades -- was passed by the five-judge constitution bench amid calls for peace by religious leaders across the country.