Sonia Gandhi to attend Ayodhya’s Ram temple consecration on January 22

The event, with political significance as India approaches the general election in less than four months, has garnered attention from various political quarters.

NEW DELHI | Updated: 29 December, 2023 2:41 pm IST
Congress leader Sonia Gandhi to attend Ram Mandir consecration on Jan 22

NEW DELHI: Congress leader Sonia Gandhi is set to attend the consecration of the Ram Temple in Ayodhya on January 22, as confirmed by party sources on Friday. Invitations have also been extended to Congress Chief Mallikarjun Kharge and Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury, the party’s leader in the Lok Sabha.

The event, with political significance as India approaches the General Election in less than four months, has garnered attention from various political quarters.

CPI(M) General Secretary Sitaram Yechury, while declining the invitation to attend the event emphasised the party’s commitment to respecting religious beliefs while safeguarding the individual’s right to choose their faith.

Yechury stated, “Religion is a personal choice not to be converted into an instrument for political gain.” He expressed regret at being unable to attend the event, citing concerns about the politicisation of the religious ceremony and its deviation from constitutional principles.

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CPI(M) leader Brinda Karat echoed Yechury’s sentiments, denouncing the event as the “politicisation of a religious program” and asserting the party’s decision to skip the inauguration.

Union Minister Meenakshi Lekhi responded to the CPI(M)’s decision, stating, “Invitations were sent to all (but) only those called by Lord Ram will come.” Meanwhile, former Congress leader Kapil Sibal, citing his personal reverence for Lord Ram, opted not to attend, criticising the BJP’s purported display of power and calling them a “show-off.”

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Congress MP KC Venugopal, initially expressing gratitude for the invitation, left the party’s stance ambiguous, stating, “You will be told about the party’s stand… you will know on 22 January.” The apparent hesitancy reflects the delicate balance opposition parties face in navigating the intersection of religion and politics in the run-up to the inauguration.

The consecration of the Ram Temple emerges as a symbolic battleground, highlighting the complex interplay between religious sentiments and political considerations in the lead-up to the impending General Elections.

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