The independent trust tasked with the building of a Ram temple in Ayodhya, Uttar Pradesh, will be called the Shri Ram Janmabhoomi Tirth Kshetra.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi personally announced the trust’s formation in a speech he made in the Lok Sabha on Wednesday, days before Delhi holds a February 8 election that mainly pits the BJP against the ruling Aam Aadmi Party. Chants of, “Jai Shri Ram,” were heard from the treasury benches.
The Shiv Sena, a former BJP ally, has welcomed the announcement. But the Congress, the Sena’s government partner in Maharashtra, has questioned its timing and linked it with the upcoming election.
The central government was supposed to make the announcement before February 9 and inform Parliament.
On November 9, 2019, the Supreme Court greenlighted the construction of a temple at the site where the centuries-old Babri Masjid stood before it was demolished by kar sevaks in 1992.
Disputed by both Hindus and Muslims, the plot was awarded to the Ram Lalla, a litigant in the case. But the court said the land should remain with a statutory receiver until a board of trustees had been established.
It also said another litigant, the Sunni Waqf Board, should get a different plot within Ayodhya for a mosque.
The Uttar Pradesh government recently identified five possible locations for the mosque, and Prime Minister Narendra Modi said this morning that the Centre had approved a plot.
On December 12, 2019, the Supreme Court dismissed all review pleas challenging its verdict on the Ayodhya dispute.