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  India   Politics  12 Jan 2024  Ayodhya boycott move splits Congress leaders

Ayodhya boycott move splits Congress leaders

Published : Jan 12, 2024, 12:44 am IST
Updated : Jan 12, 2024, 12:44 am IST

Many worried absence may cost party votes in LS elections

 The Congress appears to be a divided house over attending the Ram temple consecration ceremony in Ayodhya on January 22.( Representational Image)
  The Congress appears to be a divided house over attending the Ram temple consecration ceremony in Ayodhya on January 22.( Representational Image)

New Delhi: The Congress appears to be a divided house over attending the Ram temple consecration ceremony in Ayodhya on January 22. Despite the move by the party’s top leaders to decline the invitation, some of the Congress leaders have decided to attend. Another section of senior leaders argues that the party has “handed a stick to the BJP to flog the Congress”. Sure enough, the BJP on Thursday stepped up its attack on the Congress, claiming that the Opposition party’s decision to “boycott” has exposed its inherent opposition to India’s culture and Hindu religion.

Slamming the Congress’ decision to boycott the ceremony, the BJP pointed out that even Iqbal Ansari, the Muslim litigant in the land dispute case involving the temple and the Babri mosque, was extended an invitation, which he accepted.

The Congress leaders Mallikarjun Kharge, Sonia Gandhi and Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury on Wednesday “respectfully declined” the invitation to attend the Ram Temple consecration ceremony, accusing the BJP of making it into a “political project” for electoral gains.

However, the party’s decision was questioned by some of its own leaders, including its senior leader from Gujarat Arjun Modhwadia, who said the party “should have stayed away from taking such a political decision” as “Bhagwan Shri Ram is worshipped as God in India” and it is a subject of trust and belief among the people of India.

Also, Himachal Pradesh PWD minister Vikramaditya Singh, son of late Congress stalwart Virbhadra Singh, has decided to go to Ayodhya despite the party's decision to decline the invite. Mr Singh, whose mother Pratibha Singh is the PCC chief in the state, said that the Ram Mandir is not a political issue and participating in the consecration ceremony will be a “rare chance to be a part of history.”

Hitting at the Opposition party over its decision, BJP spokesperson Sudhanshu Trivedi said due to its feelings of "jealousy, malice and inferiority complex" towards Prime Minister Narendra Modi, the Congress had gone to the extent of opposing the country and is now opposing God.

The Ram temple in Ayodhya symbolises the highest values of Indian traditions and culture, Mr Trivedi said, but for the Congress and other Opposition parties with a similar mindset, extremist politics is more important, he alleged.

The BJP leader claimed that it has been the main Opposition party's tendency to create hurdles during historic moments for the country.

"Whenever the page of history turns, the Congress, instead of standing with it, has opted to boycott," he said, citing a host of events, including the inauguration of the new Parliament building, the enactment of the GST and presidential addresses to Parliament by Ram Nath Kovind and Droupadi Murmu.

“People have also continued to keep the Congress away from power, but it is not getting any wiser,” he said, adding that the party had an opportunity to redeem its past mistakes, but it has wasted the chance.

He also rejected the Congress' contention that the BJP and the RSS had appropriated the entire event, scheduled for January 22 in Ayodhya, saying there is no division among people in the temple. It should not be linked to any organisation or ideology, he said.

The BJP spokesperson wondered if the Congress still stands with the idea of rebuilding the mosque, which was torn down by a frenzied mob in Ayodhya in 1992.

Noting that the then Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru was opposed to the association of President Rajendra Prasad and some leaders of the Congress with the rebuilding and inauguration of the Somnath temple, Mr Trivedi claimed the Congress is continuing with his legacy and has disowned the 'Ram Rajya' concept of Mahatma Gandhi.

Its government under Indira Gandhi had fired upon saints protesting against cow-slaughter and when its president was Sonia Gandhi Lord Ram was described as an imaginary figure, he added.  

The temple is coming up after 500 years of struggle and has stirred national pride, he said.

Tags: indian national congress, ayodhya ram temple, ram temple consecration ceremony, iqbal ansari
Location: India, Uttar Pradesh