Announcing a 3-year deadline for the construction of the Ram Mandir at Ayodhya, Ramjanmabhoomi Teerth Kshetra Trust chairman Champat Rai on Saturday, stated that the 45-day fund drive had been completed on February 27. Estimating that around Rs 2500 crores had been received as donations till March 4, Rai said that 10 crore households in 4 lakh villages had been approached by 9 lakh volunteers. While construction has not begun yet, preparing the land to commence construction will commence in April.
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VHP: Ram Mandir Fund drive completed
Addressing a press conference, Champat Rai said, “Four lakh cubic stones will be used to complete construction within 3 years. While construction has not begun, the improvement of land for the foundation will start in April. Around Rs 2500 cr have been received till 4th of March, but can’t confirm the figures. We have reached 10 crore households with 9 lakh workers. The campaign is over doesn’t mean that dedication towards God is over. Visit our website which has all the details of bank accounts and one can contribute accordingly.”
Ram Temple Nidhi Samarpan campaign completed; VHP expresses gratitude. pic.twitter.com/lgS6aefIqX — Vishva Hindu Parishad -VHP (@VHPDigital) February 28, 2021
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The fund drive was questioned by several Opposition leaders like – Nana Patole, ex-Karnataka CMs Siddaramaiah and Kumaraswamy, stating that the Trust had no account of the funds collected. Patole alleged that he was threatened to be ‘thrown out of religious community’ if he refuses to contribute to the Ram Mandir Fund drive. Similarly, Kumaraswamy had claimed that people collecting donations for the construction of Ram Mandir are separately marking houses of those who paid money and those who did not, while Siddaramaiah said that Trust’s audit was ‘Rama-Krishna’s accountability’.
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Mandir Trust’s fund campaign
In December, Ram Janmabhoomi Teerth Kshetra trust announced that it will launch a mass contact and Contribution Campaign for the construction of the temple. Asserting that the only domestic funds will be accepted, it said that voluntary donations from Rambhakts will be accepted for which Coupons of ₹ 10, 100 and 1,000 will be available. The campaign which started from January 14, 2021, will end on February 27, 2021. Moreover, the Trust said nearly 4 lakh volunteers will cover 55 crore people (11 crore families) in 5 lakh villages during the campaign.
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Several prominent leaders like President Kovind, Digvijay Singh, Chirag Paswan, Aparna Yadav have donated to the fund. While the drive has found backing by Congress-backed NSUI, it has been opposed by Shiv Sena which said that Ram Janmabhoomi trust’s fund campaign is an insult to Lord Ram as he was the ‘King of Ayodhya’. The way for the Ram Mandir- a long-cherished BJP dream- was paved by the Supreme Court on November 9, 2019, when it pronounced a unanimous verdict, awarding the entire disputed area in Ayodhya to the Hindu parties. PM Modi did the Bhoomi Pujan, laying the foundation for the Ram Mandir on August 5, 2020.