Due to the novel coronavirus, veteran BJP leader Uma Bharti Monday said she would not attend the ground breaking ceremony of the Ram Temple in Ayodhya on August 5. Instead, Bharti said she would be on the banks of the Saryu river and visit the site and offer prayers to ‘Ram Lalla’ after the event had concluded.
Her announcement, made on Twitter, came a day after Union Home Minister Amit Shah and a couple of Uttar Pradesh BJP leaders tested positive for the disease. Bharti said she was worried about those attending the ceremony, “especially Prime Minister Narendra Modi”.
Bharti also said she had informed the temple authorities and the Prime Minister’s Office to remove her name from the list of attendees.
“Ever since I heard that Home Minister Amit Shah and some UP leaders have tested positive for Covid-19, I’ve been worried for those who will be attending the groundbreaking ceremony of the Ram Temple. I’ve been especially worried for Prime Minister Narendra Modi,” Bharti tweeted.
“I have informed the temple authorities that on the day of the ceremony, I shall remain on the banks of the Saryu river,” she added.
Expressing her fears over coming in contact with an infected patient, she said it was better to stay away from the event.
“I will be leaving for Bhopal today. Till the time I reach Ayodhya tomorrow evening, there is a possibility of me coming in contact with a Covid positive patient. In such a situation, it is better for me to stay away from an event which will be attended by the Prime Minister and several others,” she posted on the micro-blogging site.
“I will visit the site and take darshan of ‘Ram Lalla’ after the Prime Minister and others leave,” she added.
Earlier, the BJP veteran had said it would be embarrassing for her to boast about her role in the Ayodhya campaign, as it was the combined efforts of millions that led to fulfillment of their dream. “Like rivers merge in the sea, Narendra Modi’s presence is adequate at the foundation stone laying ceremony for all of us,” she tweeted in Hindi.
Meanwhile, the stone-laying ceremony seems to be becoming an instance of BJP veterans feeling slighted. While L K Advani, who led the Ram Janmabhoomi movement in the 1990s, is still waiting for an invitation for the ceremony, veteran leader M M Joshi has also not received an invite.
To believe sources in VHP, Champat Rai, general secretary of Shri Ram Janmabhoomi Teertha Kshetra Trust, is expected to give the invitation to Advani.
📣 The Indian Express is now on Telegram. Click here to join our channel (@indianexpress) and stay updated with the latest headlines