Ram Temple work to start after 'dharam sabha': VHP

Ram Temple work to start after 'dharam sabha': VHP

VHP supporters prepare flags at the venue of Sunday's "Dharam Sabha" or a religious congregation in Ayodhya, Uttar Pradesh, on Saturday. REUTERS

Barely hours before its proposed 'dharam sabha' on Sunday, the Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP) on Saturday asserted that the construction of the Ram Temple would start if saints and seers favour it.

However, the All India Akhara Parishad (AIAP), an apex body of saints and sadhus in the country, said that it would stay away from the VHP meet.

"Ram Temple construction will start if seers favour it in Sunday's dharam sabha...we will abide by the directions of seers," said a senior VHP leader here.

The saffron leader told DH that seers were expected to take a decision about the Ram Temple construction. 

Saffron outfits have recruited 25,000 'bajarangis' (Bajrang Dal workers), who, they said, would immediately start the temple construction on the direction of saints.

The 'dharam sabha', however, suffered a jolt, when the AIAP decided to stay away from the meeting and deciding to chalk out its separate strategy for the temple construction in consultation with the Muslim litigants.

"Saints and seers associated to the akharas will not attend the VHP meet on Sunday...we too want Ram Temple but we will consult Muslim parties and try to resolve the issue through negotiations," AIAP president Mahant Narendra Giri said.

The Shiv Sena has also decided to distance itself from the VHP meeting. Though its supremo Uddhav Thackeray would be in Ayodhya on Sunday and pay obeisance at the makeshift Ram Temple, he would not attend the 'dharam sabha'.