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Ram temple will be built under Nritya Gopal’s leadership: UP BJP chief

By HT Correspondents, Varanasi/lucknow
PUBLISHED ON FEB 07, 2020 08:19 PM IST

Uttar Pradesh BJP president Swatantra Dev Singh on Friday said the Ram temple in Ayodhya would be constructed under the leadership of Mahant Nritya Gopal Das, who heads the Ram Janmabhoomi Nyas.

He made the comment in response to a question about unhappiness among some seers over Das not being included in the board of trustees of the Shri Ram Janmabhoomi Teertha Kshetra that the Centre has constituted to oversee construction of the Ram temple in Ayodhya.

Speaking to reporters in Varanasi, he said, “Mahant Nritya Gopal Das is an ideal for all of us. The Ram temple (in Ayodhya) will be constructed under his leadership. The campaign (for constructing Ram temple) has reached this point under his leadership.”

Asked why Mahant Nritya Gopal Das was not made a trustee, Singh said, “I can’t comment on it. What I want to say it that everyone wants construction of the Ram temple.”

After the Centre announced the Trust and its Board of Trustees on February 5 for construction of the Ram temple in Ayodhya, there was resentment among saints associated with the Ram Janmabhoomi Nyas on non-inclusion of Mahant Nritya Gopal Das in the new Trust.

Ram Janmabhoomi Nyas had spearheaded the Ram temple movement across the country.

There was speculation that the Centre’s decision not to nominate Nritya Gopal Das as a member of Board of Trustees of the new Trust, was not without reason.

“Criminal proceedings are under way against Mahant Nritya Gopal Das and (VHP international vice-president) Champat Rai at the special CBI court in Lucknow in connection with demolition of Babri Masjid (in Ayodhya on December 6, 1992). In such a scenario, had the Centre appointed them as members of Board of Trustees of the new Trust, there was the possibility of anyone challenging the Trust in the Supreme Court,” said a senior Vishwa Hindu Parishad leader who did not wish to be quoted. The criminal proceedings in the Babri Masjid demolition case are going on in the court of special CBI judge SK Yadav in Lucknow.

However, there was a way out of this situation, the VHP leader said.

“The Board of Trustees has the power to nominate two more members of the Trust. Through this nomination process, both Mahant Nritya Gopal Das and Champat Rai, could be made members of the Trust or even its chairman or secretary,” the VHP leader added.

The Nyas is also confident about the Centre finding a way out of this situation.

Mahant Kamal Nayan Das, the designated successor of Nritya Gopal Das, said, “I had a telephonic conversation with union home minister Amit Shah today (Friday) also. I also facilitated a conversation between Bada Maharaj (Nritya Gopal Das) and the union home minister.”

“The union home minister has assured me to include Bada Maharaj and Champat Rai in the trust,” added Kamal Nayan Das, who spoke on behalf of the Nyas head.

On Thursday also, Shah had called Kamal Nayan when BJP leaders went to Mani Ram Das Chhavni Peeth to pacify the agitated seers, according to Ayodhya Sadar MLA Ved Prakash Gupta.

‘Ayodhya naresh’ Vimlendra Mohan Pratap Mishra, who is a member of Board of Trustees of the new Trust, met Mahant Nritya Gopal Das at Mani Ram Das Chhavni Peeth on Friday.

Earlier, Mishra also inspected the Ram Janmabhoomi campus and offered prayers at the makeshift Ram temple there.

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