Less than 24 hours separate the historic moment when the idol of Ram Lalla will be consecrated at the Ram Mandir in an elaborate ritual called the 'Pran Pratishtha'. Ahead of that, the Centre has undertaken several measures. Many celebrities, sports personalities, industrialists and who's who from across the country have received invitations to attend the event in Ayodhya.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi is himself visiting several temples carrying out rituals leading up to the event. State governments have taken measures asking citizens to do their bit as Lord Ram comes home after 550 years.
While the Government of Assam had already mentioned that January 22 will be observed as a 'dry day' across the state, Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma addressed a presser today at Lok Sewa Bhawan in Guwahati charting out plans for the event.
He expressed great joy at the people's whole-hearted participation ahead of the consecration saying that he was happy that the Swacchta abhiyan did not stay limited to only temples but was also seen in mosques and churches.
He said, "Tomorrow, all educational institutions, schools, colleges, etc. will remain closed. I urge shop owners to also keep their establishments closed and witness the Pran Pratishtha. Also, I urge people to light up their homes with diyas or lights as called by the Prime Minister, for tomorrow. I ask devotees to arrange naams and kirtans as well tomorrow."
The CM also urged all private educational institutions and businesses to shut down for the day. He also called for special prayers and namaz for the occasion, urging people of all faith to join in the event.
Meanwhile, government offices will open at 2 pm tomorrow, announced the CM. He also called for tightened security measures to maintain communal harmony in the many sensitive areas of Assam.
"Tomorrow is the victory of Indian civilization. Everyone should maintain peace and tranquility. Fish and meat shops in Assam will not open before 4 pm tomorrow. If anyone wants to have non-veg food then have it today itself. I urge people to maintain a fast until the Pran Pratishtha, if possible. Restaurants will not be able to serve non-veg food till 2 pm tomorrow," said Himanta Biswa Sarma.
The CM further requested Congress leader Rahul Gandhi to not create a competition with Pran Pratishtha and his Batadrava visit. He asked Gandhi, who is in Assam for his Bharat Jodo Nyay Yatra, to visit Batadrava after 2 pm. Moreover, the Assam CM asked television news channels to not run more than one news items urging no double-window shots, but only single shots of the Pran Pratishtha.
He said, "Rahul Gandhi could have gone to Batadrava today itself, but he chose tomorrow's date. If he cancels his programmes for tomorrow, then the people of Assam will be grateful. Congress thinks that I will arrange for their Yatra. Seeking permission is an official process which they will have to follow. They will have to submit forms and seek permissions. Jairam Ramesh has been calling me out. If something happens tomorrow then I will be answerable to the Centre. I have done my bit, how much more can I do. There are Hindus in Congress as well."