After the Supreme Court’s historic Ayodhya verdict in November 2019, the Narendra Modi government announced on Wednesday the setting up of a trust to build the temple as mandated by the Supreme Court. Though the timing of the announcement ahead of elections to the Delhi Assembly election has been met with some suspicion, the Election Commission absolved the Modi government of any wrongdoing vis-a-vis the model code of conduct. In the Lok Sabha, PM Modi said following the Supreme Court order, the government has prepared a detailed plan for the construction of the Ram Temple in Ayodhya. The trust, the Sri Ram Janmabhoomi Tirtha Kshetra, will have powers to take decisions independently on construction issues, said PM Modi.

PM Modi urged all MPs to support the construction of the grand Ram Temple in Ayodhya upon which NDA MPs started thumping their desks and shouting Jai Shri Ram. Reports said the Prime Minister held a cabinet meeting on temple building plans before the announcement.

In his speech, PM Modi said as decided by the apex court the disputed land in Ayodhya belongs to Ram Lalla and soon people would be able to worship there. The PM added the Uttar Pradesh government has agreed to hand over 5 acres of land for a mosque in Ayodhya to the Sunni Waqf Board.

Home Minister Amit Shah said a Dalit will always be part of the temple trust. Sources added that political parties will not be a part of the trust.

The announcement of the trust comes 2 days before campaigning ends for the Delhi election. The Aam Aadmi Party is said to be enjoying an unassailable lead in projections with some surveys saying it would win more than 60 seats of the 70-member assembly and conservative estimates promising at least 50 plus. Observers aren’t entirely convinced; some said the attempts to blame AAP by linking the party to the Shaheen Bagh shooter and other attempts like seeing a conspiracy instead of conceding the popular nature of the protests point to the BJP’s desperate attempts to forestall the dismal performance projected by several surveys.

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