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Hours before Ram Temple trust meet, allegations of ‘occupation’

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New Delhi, Feb 19, 2020-

Hours before the very first meeting of the Ram Janmabhoomi trust here in Delhi, a controversy has erupted. The Hindu Mahasabha has alleged that the Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP), the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) and the BJP have “occupied” the trust through the present government.

Calling the present formation of the trust as “unfair”, Hindu Mahasabha Chief Swami Chakrapani said he is “hurt”.

“From 1949 we have been fighting for this cause. We were a party to the case. Other Hindu organisations too worked for it. But when the Supreme Court gave it’s verdict and tasked the government to form a trust, the VHP and Sangh occupied it. This is unfortunate,” he alleged.

He added, “The government didn’t feel the necessity to call all the stakeholders and thank them for the role they played or ask for their suggestions.”

The Shri Ram Teerth Kshetra Trust has invited veteran and Ram Janmabhoomi Nyas head Mahant Nritya Gopal Das for Wednesday’s meeting. VHP vice-president Champat Rai may also be made a part of the trust, sources said.

Sources said efforts will be made in the trust meeting to make Mahant Nritya Gopal Das a trustee. A resolution is likely to be tabled to include Champat Rai also in the trust.

The first meeting of the Ram temple trust to oversee the construction of the Ram temple in Ayodhya is being held on Wednesday at 5 p.m. The venue of the meeting is the residence of K. Parasaran, the head of the trust.

The three trustees from Ayodhya — Mahant Dinendra Das, Vimlendra Mohan Pratap Mishra and Anil Mishra arrived in Delhi on Wednesday ahead of the meet, while Shankaracharya Vasudevanand Maharaj reached here on Tuesday evening. He held consultations with Mahant Nritya Gopal Das and Suresh Das of Digambar Akhara separately in Ayodhya before leaving for Delhi.

Another member of the trust is Kameshwar Chaupal. Chaupal is a senior Bihar BJP leader, who has twice been a member of the Legislative Council in the state and stood on a BJP ticket in the 2014 General Election from Supaul Lok Sabha constituency. This is primarily the reason many eyebrows are being raised after his inclusion in the trust.

Earlier, Ayodhya seers were agitated over the exclusion of Nritya Gopal Das from the trust after which Union Home Minister Amit Shah stepped in to pacify the sants.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi on February 5 had announced the formation of the 15-member trust in Parliament. The Shri Ram Janmabhoomi Teertha Kshetra Trust has seven members, five nominated members and three trustees. The trust was formed as per the Supreme Court verdict in the Ayodhya land dispute case in November last year.

Now, with the Hindu Mahasabha’s pointed allegation of an “occupation” by the VHP-RSS and feeling “hurt” at other saffron organisations being ignored, the first meeting of the trust seems to be beginning with its share of controversy.  (Agency)

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