BJP tears into Congress as it faces internal criticism, too, for declining Ayodhya temple invite


Congress Party President Mallikarjun Kharge with Sonia Gandhi and Rahul Gandhi at AICC headquarters in New Delhi (ANI)

Congress general secretary Jairam Ramesh alleged that the grand event is “clearly a Bharatiya Janata Party and Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh event”

Our Bureau
New Delhi/Lucknow

The Bharatiya Janata Party on Wednesday launched a no-holds-barred attack on Congress after its senior leaders, including Sonia Gandhi, turned down the invitation for this month’s inauguration ceremony of the Lord Ram Temple in Ayodhya.

While Union Minister Smriti Irani said that the grand old party’s anti-Lord Ram face has now been exposed, her cabinet colleague Hardeep Singh Puri remarked that the decision would be regretted later.

“Congress party’s anti-Lord Ram face has been exposed before the nation. It is no surprise that under the leadership of Sonia Gandhi, the party that had filed an affidavit before the court that Lord Ram is a fictional character, its leadership declined the invitation to the ‘Pran Pratishtha’ of Ram Temple…Under the leadership of Sonia Gandhi and Congress, INDI Alliance has insulted Sanatan Dharma again and again. Now, the declining of the invitation to the Pran Pratishtha by leaders of the INDI Alliance reflects their anti-Sanatan mindset,” Smriti Irani said.

Earlier in the day, Congress’ senior leaders–Mallikarjun Kharge, Sonia Gandhi and Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury–‘declined’ the invitation to the ‘Pran Pratistha’ ceremony of Lord Ram Lalla in Ayodhya on January 22. Congress general secretary Jairam Ramesh alleged that the grand event is “clearly a Bharatiya Janata Party and Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh event”.

Union Minister Anurag Thakur, too, attacked the opposition party, stating that the people of the country would boycott them in the future. “This is the same Congress that described Lord Ram as an imaginary figure…Today, when Congress has boycotted the ‘Pran Pratishtha’ ceremony, it can be clearly seen that the people of India will also boycott them in the coming future,” Thakur said.

Meanwhile, Congress leader Imran Pratapgarhi said, “Going to a temple or mosque is a matter of one’s personal devotion…Why does the BJP want to do politics over it?”

He said, “Actually, it is the politics being done by BJP that is disgusting. Politicizing people’s devotion is the most disgusting politics of BJP.”

But former Chief Minister of Madhya Pradesh Digvijaya Singh’s brother and Congress leader Lakshman Singh is against the decision of party high command to decline the invitation of ‘Pran Pratishtha’ ceremony of Ram Mandir saying it is an inappropriate decision.

Singh said, “Former Prime Minister late Rajiv Gandhi got the locks of the temple opened and the then Chief Minister of Uttar Pradesh Vir Bahadur Singh talked about building Ram Temple. But unfortunately, Vir Bahadur Singh left from the post and Rajiv Gandhi was assassinated so the issue kept pending. After that the saints across the country continued the movement, intellectuals and others joined it.”

“Those who fought (in the Ram Temple movement) will obviously make the decision (regarding Pran Pratishtha). They have made the decision. As far as invitation is concerned, what is the meaning of declining it? What message are we sending across? When Rajiv Gandhi got it unlocked, who are you (Congress high command) to decline it? If our leadership keeps such advisors, the results would be the same as have come so far…The damage is done, it will be visible in the elections,” he added.

When asked about Congress MP Digvijaya Singh’s statement on Ram Temple Pran Pratishtha, his brother said, “Digvijaya Singh is ‘gyanni mahapurush’ and knows much more than me. I can’t speak about him.”

“Everyone should go (to Ayodhya), we will go there every year. Our devotion lies in Lord Ram,” he added.

Further talking about the decision of the party’s high command on declining the invitation, the Congress leader said, “It is an inappropriate decision.”

Preparations are underway in full swing for the Ram Temple ‘Pran Pratishtha’ on January 22, which will draw dignitaries and people from all walks of life. The Shri Ram Janmabhoomi Teerth Kshetra Trust has decided to enthrone Ram Lalla at the sanctum-sanctorum of the Ram Temple at noon on January 22. Vedic rituals for the Pran-Pratishtha ceremony of Ram Lalla in Ayodhya will begin on January 16, a week before the main ceremony.

A priest from Varanasi, Lakshmi Kant Dixit, will perform the main rituals of the consecration ceremony of Ram Lalla on January 22. From January 14 to January 22, Ayodhya will mark the Amrit Mahotsav. Ayodhya, the birthplace of Lord Rama, holds great spiritual, historical, and cultural significance for the people of India.

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