CPI(M) leader Sitaram Yechury declines Ram Mandir invitation for Centre’s “politicisation”

CPI(M) leader Sitaram Yechury, has declined the invitation to attend the upcoming consecration ceremony of the Ram Mandir.

| Updated: 26 December, 2023 9:19 pm IST
Sitaram Yechury declines Ram Mandir invitation

NEW DELHI: Communist Party of India (Marxist) General Secretary, Sitaram Yechury, had declined the invitation to attend the upcoming consecration ceremony of the Ram Mandir in Ayodhya, on Tuesday.

He revealed that he had received the invitation from former Chief Secretary to Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Nripendra Misra, accompanied by a Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP) leader. In a statement to the media, Yechury said, “Religion is a personal choice of every individual. We respect and safeguard the right of every individual to choose their particular form of faith.”

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The General Secretary of the CPI(M) accused the Centre of turning the inauguration ceremony into a state-sponsored event, with top officials like the PM and the Uttar Pradesh chief minister holding constitutional positions.

“This is straightforward politicisation of the religious belief of the people which is not in consonance with the constitution. Therefore, in these circumstances, I regret not being able to attend the event,” Yechury said.

He emphasised the constitutional principle that the state should not profess any particular religion or have any religious affiliation.

The communist party’s decision to not attend the ceremony drew a sharp response from Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader and Minister of State Meenakshi Lekhi.

In a pointed remark, Lekhi said, “Those who have been summoned by Lord Ram will only be able to reach Ayodhya for the consecration ceremony.”

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She further added, “The CPI(M) general secretary did receive an invitation to attend the inaugural ceremony of the Ram Mandir in Ayodhya. The CPI(M) will not be attending the ceremony. The politburo today issued a statement that, as far as the CPI(M) policy is concerned, we respect religious beliefs, but we keep our distance as a political party from religious events.”

Opposition leaders, including former Congress president Sonia Gandhi have also received invitations. However, Congress President Mallikarjun Kharge and Leader of Opposition Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury are yet to confirm their participation in the event.

Meanwhile, Prime Minister Narendra Modi and several ministers are expected to grace the occasion along with 4,000 saints. The consecration ceremony is slated to go underway on January 22.


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