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VHP Headquarters in Delhi Celebrates Ayodhya Ceremony, Says Temple Should be Completed in 3 Years

Temples and other buildings are illuminated on the banks of the Saryu River in Ayodhya. (Reuters)

Temples and other buildings are illuminated on the banks of the Saryu River in Ayodhya. (Reuters)

VHP international president Vishnu Sadashiv Kokje said there is enthusiasm among Hindus across the world over the foundation stone laying ceremony for the Ram temple.

The construction of the grand Ram temple at Ayodhya, whose 'bhoomi pujan' was performed on

Wednesday, is expected to be completed in the next three years, the Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP) said.

A festive atmosphere prevailed at the Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP) headquarters at RK Puram in New Delhi, once the nerve centre of the Ramjanmbhoomi movement, as senior leaders of saffron outfits gathered to watch the live telecast of the ground breaking ceremony for a Ram temple in Ayodhya on Wednesday.

A giant LED screen was installed in an open area of the VHP headquarters at Sankat Mochan Ashram, where proceedings of 'bhoomi pujan' were watched by a gathering of locals, New Delhi MP Meenakshi Lekhi and several leaders and members of the outfit.

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As the prime minister raised the slogan of Jai Siya Ram in Ayodhya, the audience at the VHP headquarters too burst into loud chants of 'Jai Shri Ram'.

Many sat with folded hands and calls of 'Jai Shri Ram' were heard periodically, as the Bhoomi Pujan telecast progressed.

VHP international president Vishnu Sadashiv Kokje said there is enthusiasm among Hindus across the world over the foundation stone laying ceremony for the Ram temple.

He blamed the Congress for the delay in the temple's construction. Prime Minister Narendra Modi performed the ground-breaking ceremony in Ayodhya for the temple at the spot where many devout Hindus believe Lord Ram was born, marking the beginning of its construction.

Kokje said, "There is enthusiasm among Hindus across the world over the foundation stone laying for the Ram temple in Ayodhya.

"The smooth manner in which the work of temple construction has been going on after the formation of Sri Ram Janmabhoomi Teerth Kshetra by the central government is amazing."

He said, "We hope that the Ram temple in Ayodhya will be completed in three years."

Kokje, a former judge of the Madhya Pradesh and Rajasthan high courts, said the temple will be constructed with a slight change in the model prepared by the VHP under which stones were being carved for the last three decades.

"Our model has been modified slightly to give the Ram temple a grand appearance. We have already carved stones for two floors which will be used in the construction of the

temple," the VHP leader said.

The VHP, which spearheaded the Ram temple movement,started carving stones for the structure at its workshop in Ayodhya in 1990.

Kokje said post-independence, the plan to build a Ram temple in Ayodhya lagged behind due to "vote bank" politics of the Congress. He said, "Now Congress leaders are trying to show themselves as friendly towards Hindus in the changed atmosphere in the country."