Thursday, May 30, 2024

Declined invitation as it’s political event: Cong on Ram temple consecration ceremony


Senapati (Manipur): Ahead of the Ram temple consecration ceremony, the Congress on Monday said it is not an “atheist party” that it would oppose a temple or religious ritual, but had declined the invite as it is a “political” event.

The opposition party also alleged that the January 22 event is being held in a hurry because of the Lok Sabha polls.

Congress president Mallikarjun Kharge, Sonia Gandhi and Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury last week “respectfully declined” the invitation to attend the Ram temple consecration ceremony, with the party accusing the BJP-RSS of making it a “political project” for electoral gains.

Asked about it at a press conference here, party leader Kanhaiya Kumar said, “The Congress believes in sarvadharma sambhav (equal respect to all religions).” “The Congress is not against any religion or religious event or sentiment. It believes in sarvadharma sambhav and this has been the case from the beginning. (Mahatma) Gandhiji also repeatedly stated this,” he added.

As far as the invitation to the temple consecration ceremony is concerned, Kumar said someone goes to meet the god when the latter calls him.

“Is it a wedding that an invite is needed? Who are they to invite? When the god calls people, they go. We are bhakts (devotees). God is about personal faith and not a matter of display,” he said.

“Everyone knows why are they (BJP-RSS) doing it. Anyone will tell you that this is being done in a hurry because of the election,” Kumar alleged.

Hence, the Congress has “respectfully declined” the invite to the “political event” of January 22, he said.

“We will go to the temple, why won’t we go? You will see that during this (Bharat Jodo Nyay) yatra itself, we will go to many temples. We will go to temples, gurdwaras, churches, mosques. The Congress is not an atheist party that it will oppose a mandir or any religious ritual. It is a party of all religions and people from all religions,” Kumar stressed.

Only the Congress can organise the Bharat Jodo Nyay Yatra because it is a party that belongs to everyone, he said.

The Congress leader said the debate should not be centred around the January 22 temple consecration ceremony as that is a “political event”.

Hitting out at the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), the Congress had said on Friday that the ruling party has made the Ram temple consecration ceremony an “out-and-out political event”, which is being held without taking the advice of shankaracharyas and by disregarding religious procedures.

The opposition party had also said religion is a personal matter and anyone is free to go to Ayodhya for “darshan”, but the invitation that was declined was for the January 22 event, which has been subjected to “massive politicisation”.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath and more than 6,000 people are expected to attend the January 22 consecration ceremony of the Ram temple.

The temple trust has also invited 4,000 seers from across the country and 50 guests from foreign countries.

The BJP, Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) and affiliate Hindutva organisations, such as the Vishva Hindu Parishad (VHP), have launched a nationwide mass connect programme in the run-up to the ceremony, urging people to visit the holy place after the event.


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