WHILE THE BJP is set to observe the Ram temple groundbreaking ceremony in Ayodhya in Uttar Pradesh on August 5 with much fanfare, the Shiv Sena is likely to keep celebrations low-key amid the pandemic. On Wednesday, party leaders and functionaries said the party has not issued any instructions on the celebrations over the ceremony yet.
“A decision on it will be taken soon,” Sanjay Raut, Sena MP, said.
A Sena leader said, “So, the celebrations may be low-key to avoid large gatherings of people.”
Another party functionary said Chief Minister and Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray had suggested that a virtual ‘bhoomi pujan’ of the Ram temple should be held due to the pandemic.
Chandrakant Khaire, a senior Sena leader from Aurangabad, said, “We are planning to organise some celebrations on August 5 while abiding by all the lockdown guidelines and Covid-19 preventive measures.”
The Sena has been vocal about the Ram temple, with Thackeray has visited Ayodhya three times in the last two years, including his visit in March to mark the completion of 100 days in office as Chief Minister. NCP chief Sharad Pawar had said he was not against the construction of the temple as the Supreme Court has given the verdict on it. “But the ceremony should be held with fewer people to avoid crowding and spreading the coronavirus,” Pawar said.