Mumbai: Some people think that construction of Ram Temple can end the Covid-19 pandemic, said NCP chief Sharad Pawar on Sunday. His statement is likely to rake up a fresh controversy as Prime Minister Narendra Modi is also scheduled to attend the laying of foundation stone at Ayodhya's Ram Janmabhoomi site on August 5.
"If some people think that by building temple corona will go, maybe they must have planned this program keeping that in mind. I don't know," Pawar said, adding that their priority was to help and protect people from the deadly virus.
"In my opinion, coronavirus is the biggest threat right now that needs to be dealt with. Both Centre and state should focus on it," he further said.
Sources told News18 that PM Modi was planning to Ayodhya on August 5 between 11am and 1:10pm during the laying of foundation stone (bhumi pujan) for the construction of the Ram Temple.
This will be Modi's first visit to Ayodhya and the Ram temple area.
After a protracted legal tussle, the Supreme Court had last November paved the way for the construction of a Ram Temple by a trust at the disputed site in Ayodhya, and directed the Centre to allot an alternative 5-acre plot to the Sunni Waqf Board for building a new mosque at a "prominent" place in the holy town in Uttar Pradesh.
Meanwhile, Arvind Sawant, the Shiv Sena MP from Mumbai South, told PTI that Lord Ram was a matter of faith for his party, and that it will not indulge inany politics over the issue. "Shiv Sena is a leading light of the Ram Mandir movement. (Sena president) Uddhav Thackeray had visited Ayodhya before becoming chief minister and even after taking charge," he said.
The Sena, the NCP and the Congress are partners in the Maha Vikas Aghadi government. Sawant said ensuring health of people and providing them safety are priorities of the Sena led state government, which is the concept of 'Ramrajya' (a rule of justice and truth). "....We are doing precisely this in our (the state government's) fight against coronavirus in Maharashtra," he said.