Finally, Advani, Murli Manohar Joshi get invites for Ram Mandir consecration ceremony

VHP leaders extend 'praan pratishta' invite to veteran BJP leader L K Advani on Tuesday. Photo: VHP

The Vishva Hindu Parishad (VHP) has refuted claims that BJP veterans L K Advani and Murli Manohar Joshi, who led the Ram Janmabhoomi movement in Ayodhya, were snubbed for next month's consecration ceremony.

Alok Kumar, International Executive President of VHP said on Tuesday that both Advani and Joshi have confirmed they “will make every effort to come”. The 'praan pratishta' or consecration ceremony of the Ram Mandir will be held on January 22.
Advani is now 96 and Joshi will turn 90 next month.

Doubts over the participation of Advani and Joshi in the consecration ceremony was fuelled by Champat Rai, General Secretary, Ram Temple Trust, who said on Monday that “both are elders of the family and considering their age, they were requested not to come”.

Advani had led a Rath Yatra for the Ram Janmabhoomi movement in 1990, two years before a 16th century mosque -- Babri Masjid -- that stood in Ayodhya, was demolished by activists of VHP and other Hindu organisations.

He and other prominent BJP leaders such as Joshi and Uma Bharti were accused of making provocative speeches ahead of the demolition on December 6, 1992.

VHP leaders invite veteran BJP leader Murli Manohar Joshi for the 'praan pratishta'. Photo: VHP

However, in 2020, the trio along with 29 other accused were acquitted after a special court found that the demolition was not pre-planned.

Amritanandamayi invited
Dalai Lama and Mata Amritanandamayi are among the spiritual leaders who have been invited for the ceremony.

Besides, movie stars Mohanlal, Rajnikanth, Amitabh Bachchan and Madhuri Dixit have also received invites. Industrialists such as Mukesh Ambani, Anil Ambani, famous painter Vasudev Kamat, ISRO Director Nilesh Desai and many other eminent personalities have been invited, said Champat Rai.

He added that about 4,000 saints and 2,200 other guests have been invited for the ceremony. Heads of major temples like Kashi Vishwanath, Vaishno Devi, and representatives of religious and constitutional institutions have also been invited, he said.

After the consecration ceremony, 'mandal puja' will be held from January 24 for 48 days as per ritual traditions. The temple will be opened for devotees on January 23, he added.

Rai said that proper arrangements have been made for the guests to stay at more than three places in Ayodhya. Apart from this, 600 rooms have been made available by various monasteries, temples and household families.
(With PTI inputs)

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