PM Modi announces trust to oversee construction of Ram Temple in Ayodhya

New Delhi: Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Wednesday announced in parliament a trust to oversee the construction of a Ram Temple in Ayodhya, as ordered by the Supreme Court. He also said the Uttar Pradesh government had agreed to hand over five acres of alternative land in Ayodhya for a mosque.
“I am pleased to announce that a significant decision has been taken to follow the directives of the Supreme Court. As per the directions of the Supreme Court, the cabinet has prepared a detailed plan for the construction of Ram Temple at Ayodhya. My government has decided to set up a trust called Sri Ram Janmabhoomi Teertha kshetra, which will take decisions independently on the construction of a Ram temple and related issues,” PM Modi said in the Lok Sabha.
The entire 67 acres at the site had been handed over to the trust, he said.
“Aiye, Aiye (come, come). Let us all support construction of grand Ram Temple in Ayodhya,” he said, to desk-thumping and shouts of “Jai Shri Ram” from the government benches.
“I salute the 130 crore people of India,” said the PM, adding that in India, everyone, be it Hindus, Muslims, Sikhs, Christians, Buddhists, Parsis or Jains, was part of one “broad family”.
The Prime Minister said the decisions on Wednesday were in line with the Supreme Court’s historic verdict in November that the disputed land in Ayodhya belonged entirely to the deity Ram Lalla or infant Lord Ram. The court had also said five acres of land should be given for a mosque at a prominent site in the holy town to the Sunni Waqf Board.
The Uttar Pradesh government on Wednesday alloted that land for a mosque. The land is situated in Dhannipur village on the Lucknow highway, about 18 kilometres from the Ayodhya district headquarters, state government spokesperson Shrikant Sharma told reporters, reports news agency PTI.
Sources say no political party is part of the temple trust.
Home Minister Amit Shah tweeted soon after: “Ram Janmabhoomi Teertha kshetra will have 15 trustees including one Dalit. For this unprecedented decision to strengthen social equality, I congratulate PM Modi.”
The Supreme Court had given the government a three-month timeline to set up a trust for a temple at the site where the 16th century Babri mosque stood before it was razed by Hindu activists in December, 1992.
Three days before the Delhi election, questions were raised about whether the announcement was in violation of the poll code. Sources said the government had decided to inform the house on the important decision since parliament is in session.
The Election Commission said no permission was required as, going by the Supreme Court order, the deadline for the trust is February 9 (Sunday, a day after voting in Delhi) and the government has to file a compliance report before this.