“Unfortunate, painful, shameful…,” BJP tears into Congress for declining Ayodhya invite


NEW DELHI: Labelling the Ram Temple inauguration an event of the BJP and RSS, Congress turned down the invitation for the ‘Pran Pratistha’ ceremony of Ram Temple, scheduled to be held on January 22, after which the Bharatiya Janata Party leaders have slammed the grand old party, terming it “unfortunate, painful and shameful.”

Earlier on Wednesday, Congress declared that it would skip the massive inauguration ceremony being planned for the Ayodhya Ram Temple, saying it was a “political project” of the BJP and Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh.

Reacting to the issue, BJP MP Ravi Shankar Prasad said that the ‘Pran Pratistha’ ceremony of Lord Ram is a matter of joy for the whole nation.

“It is very unfortunate, painful and shameful… They had always opposed Ram Janmabhoomi… The Congress Party had ruled the country, yet where has it reduced itself to today? It will be wiped out in future elections as well. Is this a programme of the Sangh? This is a programme of the nation; the whole world is waiting for it,” Prasad told ANI on Thursday.

BJP MP Sudhanshu Trivedi, addressing a press conference, said that Congress only boycotts everything, whether it is the ‘pran pratishtha’ ceremony of Ram Temple or the Bharat Ratna ceremony of former President Pranab Mukherjee.

“Congress boycotted the inauguration ceremony of the new Parliament building. Congress boycotted G20 Summit…From 2004 till 2009, Congress boycotted Kargil Vijay Diwas. Congress did not give any statement for 10 days after the Pokhran nuclear test conducted in May 1998 under the leadership of Atal Bihari Vajpayee’s government. Congress had also boycotted the Bharat Ratna ceremony of former President Pranab Mukherjee, who belonged to their party. The public is also boycotting them from power,” Trivedi said.

Meanwhile, Uttar Pradesh Deputy Chief Minister Keshav Prasad Maurya said that declining the invitation has proven that Congress is against Lord Ram.

“The invitation was not sent by the government or the BJP. It was sent by the Ram Janmabhoomi Teerth Kshetra Trust. Declining the invitation has only proved again that they are against Lord Ram. They had already called Lord Ram a fictional character,” Maurya said.

Meanwhile, the secretary of Shri Ram Janmabhoomi, Teerth Kshetra Champat Rai, said, “We have sent invitations to many people, but many invited people are not coming. Everyone has to see many issues.”

A former litigant in the Ayodhya land dispute case, Iqbal Ansari, asserted that he would be going to Ayodhya for the ‘Pran Pratistha’ ceremony at Ram Temple.

“This is a religious matter. Who will attend and who won’t is a personal matter of individuals. I am a resident of Ayodhya and I respect all religions. I too have received an invitation and I will attend it,” Ansari said.

Union Minister Giriraj Singh claimed that the grand old party does not have the “moral strength” to go to Ayodhya.

“These people are seasonal Hindus; when they feel they have to get votes, they try to become soft Hindus,” Giriraj Singh told ANI.

He further asserted that since Jawaharlal Nehru, no one in the Congress has gone to Ayodhya.

“It was the Congress party itself that had done the work of pending the case in the court; hence they do not have the moral strength to go to Ayodhya,” he added.

Earlier, Union Minister Smriti Irani accused the Congress and the INDIA bloc of having an anti-Sanatana mindset.

“Congress party’s anti-Lord Ram face is 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, the 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.

Karnataka CM Siddaramaiah on Thursday said that the Congress party is not against Lord Ram but the BJP is making politics out of it and we are opposing politics.

“We are not against Lord Ram. We all follow Lord Ram and we visit Ram Temples in our villages. They have built Ram Temple and we have no issue with it. But they are making politics out of it and we are opposing politics,” Siddaramaiah told reporters.

On Wednesday, senior Congress leaders–Mallikarjun Kharge, Sonia Gandhi and Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury–‘declined” the invitation for the grand event in Ayodhya, the party’s general secretary Jairam Ramesh said in a statement.

“Lord Ram is worshipped by millions in our country. Religion is a personal matter. But the RSS/BJP have long made a political project of the temple in Ayodhya. The inauguration of the incomplete temple by the leaders of the BJP and the RSS has obviously been brought forward for electoral gain. While abiding by the 2019 Supreme Court judgement and honouring the sentiments of millions who revere Lord Ram, Mallikarjun Kharge, Sonia Gandhi, and Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury have respectfully declined the invitation to what is clearly an RSS/BJP event,” the Congress said in its statement.

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.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi is set to attend the installation of the idol of Ram Lalla at the grand temple on January 22. As per temple officials, the ceremony will be held over a span of seven days, starting on January 16. (ANI)

Also Read: Ayodhya Ram Temple construction: Idol depicting Lord Ram’s child form near completion

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