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PM Narendra Modi reaches the mega Ram Temple inauguration ceremony in Ayodhya
Ram Temple
Photo Courtesy: PIB

PM Narendra Modi reaches the mega Ram Temple inauguration ceremony in Ayodhya

| @indiablooms | 22 Jan 2024, 09:06 am

Prime Minister Narendra Modi has reached the much-awaited consecration or pran pratishtha ceremony of the Ram Temple in the north Indian city of Ayodhya on Monday, a mega religious event which is seen by many as the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party's attempt to launch its campaign ahead of the national polls. Pran Pratishtha rituals began around noon.

From celebrities to politicians and seers, Ayodhya is currently overwhelmed by people from far and wide places who hope to witness a watershed religious event that will mark the course of the nation in the coming months. Many of them arrived in private jets for the ceremony.

Temple site was an issue of bitter contest between Hindus, Muslims

The temple site remained an issue of bitter contest between Hindus and Muslims with both the religious factions laying claim to it for nearly seven decades.

It also witnessed violence in 1992 when a mob destroyed a 16th-century mosque which stood at the site, which was built over a Hindu temple according to the court's final verdict.

A majority of Hindus claimed that the site was the birthplace of Lord Ram before Muslim Mughals razed a temple at the spot to build the Babri Masjid.

In a landmark verdict in 2019, the Supreme Court handed over the land to the Hindu community and ordered to allot a separate plot to Muslims.

Mega event ahead of Lok Sabha polls

The inauguration of the temple- read pran pratishtha or consecration of the idol of Lord Ram- is taking place months before Narendra Modi and his government, emboldened by the recent assembly elections success, seek a third term in the national polls.

If elected to power, Modi, under whose leadership the Bharatiya Janata Party seized power at the Centre in Delhi after thrashing the Congress-led UPA government in 2014 general polls, will create a hattrick of victory.

Security tightened in Ayodhya

Ayodhya has been turned into a fortress as tight security arrangements have been made ahead of the consecration ceremony.

Official sources told Indian news agency UNI that in order to maintain foolproof security in Ayodhya, 17 Superintendent of Police (SP) along with 44 Additional SPs and 140 Circle Officer (COs), have been deployed. Along with these 208 Inspectors, 1,196 SI, 4,300 constable and 2,100 trainee SIs have been pressed into service.

Sources said that along with 590 female constables, 26 companies of the Provincial Armed Constabulary (PAC) and 7 companies of the CAPF have also been deployed. "Besides NSG, RAF, ATS, and STF will be on security duty," they said.

Sources said that the borders of Ayodhya have already been sealed ahead of the consecration ceremony.

Central declares half-day

The central government declared a half-day of closing of offices on January 22 on the occasion of Ram Lalla Pran Pratishtha (consecration ceremony). Many BJP-ruled states have also followed suit.

Congress declines to attend ceremony

Country's key opposition Congress has dubbed the temple opening ceremony as a BJP-RSS event, with its senior leaders Mallikarjun Kharge and Sonia Gandhi declining to attend the event.

Many other opposition leaders have also decided to give the ceremony a miss stating they will visit the Ram temple after January 22 or once the temple construction is complete.

The full schedule of PM Modi in Ayodhya on Jan 22

10:25 AM: Prime Minister arrives at Ayodhya airport.

10:45 AM: Prime Minister arrives at Ayodhya helipad.

10:55 AM: The PM reaches Ram Janmabhoomi site.

11 AM-12 PM: Reserved

12:05-12:55 PM: ‘Pran Pratishtha’ rituals begin.

12:55 PM: PM Modi leaves the consecration ceremony venue.

1 PM: PM Modi arrives at the public ceremony.

1 PM- 2 PM: PM Modi attends the public event in Ayodhya.

2:10 PM: PM Modi visits Kuber Teela.

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