Amid speculations that the Ayodhya trust could be formed on the lines of Gujarat’s Somnath Trust, officials familiar with the developments said the latter wrote to the Centre on the composition and constitution of the upcoming body.
Retired Gujarat chief secretary Praveen Laheri, a trustee of the Somnath Trust, said it had sent a note a few months ago, after it was approached by government officials on the matter. The contents of the note, however, remained confidential.
A union minister, privy to the developments, said: “Decisions are yet to be taken and meetings are being planned; the Somnath Temple trust is a clear point of reference for us before we begin the process.”
The contours of the Ayodhya trust, mandated by the Supreme Court to build a Ram temple, are yet to be decided, said government officials, adding that Prime Minister Narendra Modi was likely to call a meeting on the future course of action next week. “A decision on the Trust will be taken only after inter-ministerial deliberations and after the government’s advisers go through the 1045-page judgement,” said an official.
There was also speculation that for the construction of the temple, the Ayodhya Trust could avoid taking money from the government and accept donations from the public.
Apart from Laheri, the trust has PM Modi, BJP president Amit Shah, BJP veteran LK Advani, and businessman Harshavardhan Neotia and professor Jivanbhai Parmar as its members, with former Gujarat chief minister Keshubhai Patel as its chairperson. The trustee’s position is currently vacant.
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