Ayodhya, Jan 21: Amid the controversy over invites for the Ram temple 'Pran Pratishtha' ceremony, the Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP) has clarified that invited Sangh functionaries account for only 2.5 per cent of the total guests, which also includes seers and commoners representing different castes, sects and communities.
VHP National Spokesperson Vinod Bansal, who has not received an invitation for the ceremony himself, said, "This shows that the event was essentially meant to project that 'Ram is for all' and 'all are for Ram'."
He said that a host of VHP workers have been deployed in Ayodhya to manage the mega event.
Only around 175 invitations have been extended to the RSS and its 50 affiliates, including VHP and BJP. In fact, BJP will be represented by only its National President J.P. Nadda and the Uttar Pradesh BJP Chief Bhupendra Chaudhary -- the latter being head of the host state.
None of the other 36 BJP State Presidents have been given the invitation. Even BJP's Ayodhya district president Sanjiv Singh has not received one.
However, most of the other BJP leaders, including the top-notch organisational functionaries, are expected to be present on the day but as part of a 'team' overseeing the management of the event, which would be helmed by priests and acharyas of 150 traditions in the presence of Prime Minister Narendra Modi and RSS Chief Mohan Bhagwat.
Uttar Pradesh Governor Anandiben Patel and Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath have been invited since they head the state hosting the event.
Activists and leaders, who were part of the Ram Janmabhoomi movement, form a separate category of invitees.
These include BJP veteran Lal Krishna Advani, Murli Manohar Joshi, Uma Bharti etc.
Padmini Kothari, the sister of Ram and Sharad Kothari -- the kar sevaks, who were killed during the firing incident of 1990.
The temple trust had also sent invitations to all the chiefs of the main political parties, including main opposition parties like the Congress, Samajwadi Party, Bahujan Samaj Party, Rashtriya Lok Dal, etc.