MNS chief Raj Thackeray on Friday rejected Maharashtra CM Uddhav Thackeray's suggestion of conducting Bhoomi Pujan of the Ram Mandir via video conference. Maintaining that Ram Mandir should be constructed, he opined that the Bhoomi Pujan was a matter of pride for him and his party. At the same time, he urged for the Bhoomi Pujan function to be delayed by two months so that it can be celebrated with great fervour.
To buttress his point, the MNS chief contended that people were not in the right state of mind owing to the COVID-19 pandemic. According to him, the devotees shall be to enjoy the moment once the fear of novel coronavirus decreases. Raj Thackeray reiterated that he would be overjoyed once the Ram Mandir is constructed.
Raj Thackeray remarked, "Ram Mandir should be constructed. This is my position I have always taken in public meetings. The Bhoomi Pujan is an extremely proud moment for me and my family. "
He added, "But I don’t think this is the time for Bhoomi Pujan. People are not in the right state of mind currently. If it happens, well and good. But I will get real joy when the temple is constructed. I don’t know why they have decided this now. The Bhoomi Pujan of Ram Mandir must happen with great fervour. E-bhoomi pujan is not a good idea. It was okay if happened after two months. When the fear goes away, then people will be able to enjoy it."
In the second part of the exclusive interview with Sena mouthpiece Saamana on July 26, Uddhav Thackeray had elaborated on the Bhoomi Pujan ceremony. While emphasising that he had no qualms in attending the event, he questioned the absence of lakhs of followers of Lord Ram. Incidentally, Sena allies NCP and Congress have opposed the Bhoomi Pujan to be held on August 5, which is set to be attended by Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
"An e-Bhoomi Pujan can be done. The ground-breaking ceremony can be held through video-conference. I can go to Ayodhya for the ceremony, but what about lakhs of Ram bhakts? Lakhs of people would be interested in attending the ceremony. Will we allow the spread of coronavirus?," Thackeray opined.