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President gives Rs 5 lakh for construction of Ram Temple | India News

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NEW DELHI: President Ram Nath Kovind on Friday donated Rs 5,01,000 for construction of the Ram Temple in Ayodhya on a day when various temple-related bodies, including RSS and its subsidiary organisations, launched a countrywide campaign seeking funds for the mandir.
Kovind made the donation to a delegation of Shree Ram Jambhoomi Teerth Kshetra Trust, which visited him at 11am on Friday. Trust treasurer Govind Dev Giri, VHP working president Alok Kumar, construction committee chairperson Nripendra Misra and Delhi region RSS chief Kulbhushan Ahuja were part of the delegation.
“Since President is the first citizen of the country, we called on him to seek his blessings for construction of the temple,” said Alok Kumar. The VHP functionary said temple construction is a religious and spiritual affair. The President was accompanied by his entire family when he made the offering to the delegation.
Kovind’s gesture of offering donation is similar to first President Rajendra Prasad, who had joined hands with the then home minister Sardar Patel and others to support restoration of Somnath Temple in Gujarat. However, the difference is that current PM Narendra Modi is also for temple and performed the ground-breaking rituals on August 4 this year to mark the reconstruction of Ram Mandir at Ayodhya.
The first PM Jawaharlal Nehru, however, had differences with Prasad and Patel about restoration of Somnath Temple as some accounts say he termed the decision as “Hindu revivalism”. In his Pilgrimage To Freedom, KM Munshi wrote that after a cabinet meeting in early 1951, Nehru called him and said, “I do not like your trying to restore Somnath. It is Hindu revivalism.” Munshi was then food and agriculture minister.
Vice-President M Venkaiah Naidu, several governors, chief ministers of BJP-governed states also made contributions for the temple construction.
After the SC verdict clearing the way for the construction of Ram Mandir, leaders of the temple campaign had said that the construction cost will be borne by the people of the country for which a campaign will be launched, which will also ensure participation of the entire nation.
The biggest contribution so far has come from an ex-MLA from Rae Bareli, Surendra Singh, who on Friday donated Rs 1,11,11111 (Rs one crore, eleven lakh, eleven thousand, one hundred eleven). Trust spokesperson and senior VHP functionary Champat Rai went to Rae Bareli to collect the cheque from the former MLA.

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