New Delhi: Ayodhya Ram Temple trust board members on Thursday (February 20) met Prime Minister Narendra Modi at 7 Lok Kalyan Marg, and invited him to visit Ayodhya. The meeting came a day after the Shri Ram Janmabhoomi Teertha Kshetra Trust, set up recently to oversee the construction of Ram temple in Ayodhya, met on Wednesday for the first time.
With Trust board president Nritya Gopal Das, VHP leader Champat Rai, who was elected as the trust's general secretary, was also present at the meeting along with treasurer Swami Govind Dev Giri.
Nritya Gopal Das told reporters, "We invited the prime minister to visit Ayodhya." Champat Rai later said that the trustees were called by the Prime Minister and it was a courtesy meeting.
Vishva Hindu Parishad's international working president Alok Kumar, however, said in the run-up to Ram Navami, 'RamoUtsav' will be celebrated from March 25 till April 8. During this festival, the VHP workers will reach out to all the 2.75 lakh villages across the country which had contributed to the Ram Janambhoomi movement, he added.
The 15-member trust was constituted by the Modi government, after the Supreme Court's verdict on November 9 in the Ram Janmabhoomi-Babri Masjid case which settled the long-festering religious issue.
In its first meeting on Wednesday, the Shri Ram Janmabhoomi Tirtha Kshetra Trust, elected Nitya Gopal Das as its president, Champat Rai General Secretary, while Swami Govind Dev Giri was named as its Treasurer.
The meeting was held at the residence of senior Supreme Court lawyer K Parasaran, head of the Board of Trustees. The board also elected Prime Minister Narendra Modi's former principal secretary Nripendra Misra as the head of the temple construction committee of the Trust.
Other members of the trust are Jagatguru Shankracharya, Jyothishpeethadheeshwar Swami Vasudevanand Saraswati Ji Maharaj from Allahabad, Jagatguru Madhavacharya Swami Vishwa Prasannatheerth Ji Maharaj, Pejawar Math in Udupi, Yugpurush Paramanand Ji Maharaj from Haridwar, Swami Govinddev Giri Ji Maharaj from Pune and Vimlendra Mohan Pratap Mishra from Ayodhya.
Among those present at the meeting were the central government representative, additional secretary in Home ministry Gyanesh Kumar, UP government's representative Avinash Awasthy and Ayodhya District Magistrate Anuj Kumar Jha.
The meeting also decided to open an account in Ayodhya's State Bank of India branch for donations for the temple construction.