New Delhi: Shiv Sena MP Sanjay Raut on Monday called the situation in Ayodhya ‘critical’, adding that VIP movement for the August 5 ceremony there should be as less as possible. Also Read - Ram Mandir Bhoomi Pujan: Iqbal Ansari, Ayodhya Dispute litigant Gets Invitation, Calls it 'Lord Ram's wish'

On Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who will perform the bhoomi pujan of the Ram Temple in the temple town on August 5, Raut ‘wished him well’. Also Read - Two Brothers Aged 70 Collect Water From 151 Rivers & 3 Seas For Ram Temple 'Bhoomi Pujan' in Ayodhya

Speaking to media today, he said, “The situation is critical there and everyone believes VIP movement should be as less as possible. Prime Minister is going there, we wish him well”. Also Read - Uma Bharti Says Won't Attend Bhoomi Pujan in Ayodhya After Amit Shah, UP BJP Leaders Test Positive For Coronavirus

This remark by Raut today comes a day after Union Home Minister Amit Shah, who was to be at the function, announced that he had contracted coronavirus. Also on Sunday, UP BJP chief Swatantra Dev Singh announced that he, too, was COVID-19 positive.

The day also witnessed UP cabinet minister Kamal Rani Varun succumbing to the virus.

Earlier today, senior BJP leader Uma Bharti announced that while she will visit Ayodhya, she won’t attend the foundation stone laying ceremony as she might infect Prime Minister Narendra Modi if, while on her way from Bhopal to Ayodhya, she ends up contracting COVID-19.

Also, last week, a total of 17 people connected with the event-a priest and 16 policemen-had tested positive for coronavirus.

Earlier, on July 26, Shiv Sena chief and Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray had suggested that in the view of the COVID-19 pandemic, the groundbreaking ceremony should take place via videoconferencing.