As day of Ram Mandir Bhoomi Pujan draws nearer, it seems increasingly unlikely that Lal Krishna Advani will be present for the ceremony. The veteran BJP leader has been the chief architect of Ram Mandir agitation in past decades and seen as the original champion of the cause. His agitations and yatras in early 90s have had definite part in increasing BJP's visibility at the grassroot.
Champat Rai, General Secretary of Ram Janma Bhoomi Teertha Kshetra on Monday said that due to coronavirus pandemic and the protocol in place, no-one above the age of 90 was advised to attend the Bhumi Poojan ceremony. Advani is 92 years old.
"How will Advani ji come? How will Parasharan ji come?" asked Rai as he addressed the media in a press conference held on Monday.
Older citizens are believed to be more vulnerable to coronavirus infection. In all government advisories on coronavirus lockdown and even unlock process, older citizens have always been adviced to remain indoors.
During his press conference, Champat Rai explained the security measures in place for the Bhoomi Pujan ceremony.
Champat Rai said that no mobile phones will be allowed at the venue of Bhoomi Pujan. Attendees will even not be allowed to carry bags.
"Each invitee has been provided with invitation card that bears a code. This code will ensure that one invitee gets entry only once," said Champat Rai.
He explained further that if the invitee leaves the venue for any reason, he/she will not be allowed to re-enter.
During his press conference, Champat Rai said that 133 holy men have been invited for Bhoomi Pujan ceremony. 175 guests have been invited for the ceremony.
Rai added that the Mahant of Janaki Mandir in Nepal has been invited as well.
Watch | Ram Mandir Bhoomi Pujan: Ram Lalla to be adorned in green clothing, says Champat Rai