Labourers and a policeman at the Ram Mandir karyashala in Ayodhya Thursday | Photo: Praveen Jain | ThePrint
Labourers and a policeman at the Ram Mandir karyashala in Ayodhya (representational image) | Photo: Praveen Jain | ThePrint
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New Delhi: The Congress has attacked the Ram Mandir trust for not inviting the party leadership for the temple’s bhoomi pujan (ground-breaking) programme, saying that the event has been turned into an “exclusive BJP-RSS ceremony”.

Senior party leaders also accused the BJP of stealing credit for the Ram temple, whose construction was paved by the Supreme Court’s verdict last year.

A host of senior BJP leaders, including Prime Minister Narendra Modi, L.K. Advani and Murli Manohar Joshi, as well as RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat and general secretary Suresh Bhaiyyaji Joshi have been invited for the ceremony by the Ram Janmabhoomi Teertha Kshetra Trust.

Former UP chief minister Kalyan Singh, party leaders Uma Bharti, Vinay Katiyar and Sadhvi Rithambhara, as well as yoga guru Ramdev have been invited for the ceremony, which will be held in Ayodhya on 5 August.

After the November verdict last year, the Congress Working Committee had passed a resolution, welcoming the judgment as well as favoring the construction of the temple. 

However, as reported by ThePrint, no leader of the Congress received an invitation by the trust — not even party president and Rae Bareli MP Sonia Gandhi. Only one member from the opposition has been invited — BSP MP Ritesh Pandey, who represents the Ambedkar Nagar constituency in Ayodhya.

“Forget courtesy to any leader, people from across the political spectrum should have been invited just as a courtesy to lord Ram,” said senior Congress leader Salman Khurshid.

“This is the BJP’s unveiling of political ambition in a matter of faith. If it was about faith, they would not have been choosy, they would have included everyone in the invitations,” Khurshid added.


Also read: PM Modi shouldn’t attend ‘Bhoomi pujan’ of Ram Temple as Prime Minister, says Owaisi


Trust close to BJP-RSS, stealing credit for mandir

Other party leaders hit out at the trust and said that its functionaries are close to the Modi government.

“This was a public movement, so why should politics creep into it now that the temple is finally getting constructed? The movement found its genesis even well before RSS came into existence,” said Digvijaya Singh, Rajya Sabha member and former CM of Madhya Pradesh.

Hitting out at the trust, Singh said that it’s “full of VHP and RSS activists”.

“The way the invitations have been sent, it has been done in order for BJP to steal the credit for this entirely,” he added.

Singh had earlier questioned the exclusion of members from Hindus sects of Shankaracharyas, Akhara Parishads and Ramanandi Sampradaya, who were originally part of the Ram Temple movement, from the temple trust.

‘Will not go even if invited’

Senior party leader Anil Shastri, meanwhile, told ThePrint he would not go to the ceremony even if he is invited.

“It has become a BJP event. Why should I participate in a BJP event? So now, even if I am invited, I will not go,” said Shastri, son of former prime minister Lal Bahadur Shastri.

A Congress spokesperson said that “this is not the temple’s inauguration”. “It is more like RSS-VHP’s office inauguration. The real foundation stone for the temple was laid in 1989 itself,” he added.

He was referring to the shilanyas or the foundation stone laying ceremony at the temple site in Ayodhya in 1989 by the VHP.

‘Don’t want any more mixing of religion and politics’

Despite showing their displeasure for not being invited, Congress leaders also said they wouldn’t like to “indulge in any further competition” over the temple.

“We do not want any more mixing of religion and politics. So if they haven’t invited anyone from the opposition, there is not much we can do,” Digvijaya Singh said.

Khurshid said protesting over not being invited would be “playing into the hands of the BJP”. 

“We should not have a second round of competition between the BJP and the opposition on the Ram Mandir issue now. We have gracefully accepted the judgment and the court’s is the last word,” he added. “We need to move on in time.”


Also read: Ram Janmabhoomi struggle was about restoring national pride, not religion, says RSS mouthpiece


 

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17 Comments Share Your Views

17 COMMENTS

  1. It is pretty clear that Ram Mandir bhoomipujan ceremony is set to become an BJP/RSS event. Congress sbould not complain about not getting invitation rather they should educate the people about the great step taken by Rajiv Gandhi while laying the aadharsheela stone by the hand of a dalit priest at that time. It was all because of him that temple’s gates were reopened which ultimately paved the way for Advani’s Rath yaatra across the country. But who knew that it would took ugly turn and demolish Babri masjid. Congress should stick to its ideology of opposing the bigotry of hindutva which has nothing to to with the core ideology/ philosophies of Hinduism. A day will come when people will realize and recognize the ugly face of this ‘hindutva’ of BJP/RSS.

    • do you even understand the meaning of hindutva, i.e. state of being a hindu. how does it become equal to bigotry, may i ask?

  2. Dear Writer,You have written this article giving an unnecessary importance to opposition leaders like Salman Khursid and Digvijoy Singh delibertely.Being a media professional you must have the knowledge about the role of these leader s in Rama Mandir construction.What types of obstacles they have not created in the path of Ram Mandir matter.When UPA government raised question about the existence of Lord ShriRam,when late Karunanidhi was asking about the engineering degree of Lord ShriRam then where the foreign lady Sonia Gandhi eulogiser Digvijoy Singh,Anil Shastri & so called Sankaracharjyas ,Ramanandi saints were sleeping ? After becoming unsuccessful in every negative attempt to stop Ramtemple they are shading crocodile tear for not getting invitation.All invitees of the VHP and BJP including honourable prime minister Modijee have made many sacrifice for the Ram Janma Bhoomi movement.They have not been invited for just being a successor of a dynasty but for their devotion, dedication, struggle for the cause of Ram temple.Being a successor of prestigious royal dynasty the activities of Digvijoy Singh towards hindu nationalism is very unfortunate. If Modijee had not been elected with a clear mandate of Indians ,then these so called fake secular brigade would have lingered the Ram temple matter by creating many obstacles.Lord Shriram has made it possible for build of his own birthplace by discarding the black sheeps.

  3. Congress gets all the invites from Pakistan High Commission and Christian/Catholic organizations – not the BJP – nobody complains about that.
    Also, Congress and Sickulars didnt realize the potential or the importance of Hindu faith – for decades they ignored and treated Hindus as pitiful second class citizens. Hindu unity has shown them, who Ram is and what he means in India. 70 years later, Nehru is history but Ram even after thousands of years is eternal. Congress and sickulars have to admit.

  4. Why comments in plain decent language opposing congress views are being deleted here ? Is this the freedom of expression The Print would like to be for itself ? Shame on such intolerance.

  5. Congress is a poor loser. This very wretched party questioned the existance of Lord Ram in the Supreme court. They said that the Ram Setu never existed and but still were ready to demolish it. Timely intervention by Subramanian Swamy saved it. During elections congress used to mock BJP and Hindus by slogans like “Mandir wahi banayenge par tareekh nahi batayenge”….now that Ram temple has become a reality following due process of law the congress is thinking that BJP will reap mileage out of this and hence fishing with these stupid statements on invitations. Presence of any congressman at the venue will be sacrilege. Organisers please ensure that these thick skinned anti nationals are not seen anywhere close to the ground breaking venue.

  6. The Congress should introspect on their long history of demeaning Hindu faith, corruption, nepotism and more recent blatant anti-India activities. The culmination is projecting an incompetent half-wit moron as leader.

  7. when muslims were attending lavish iftar parties and enjoying hajj pilgrimage at govt cost it was secularism. what is the contribution of congress in building ram maunder is well known. they can attend the ceremony a common devotes

  8. “We do not want any more mixing of religion and politics.” says Congress.
    Too little too late. Even today, all opposition parties are playing Muslim vote bank politics.
    When Muslims are pampered, that is secularism. When Hindus are pampered that is fanaticism.

  9. For seventy years they opposed the Ram Janmabhoomi movement tooth and nail. Tried every single dirty trick in the book to prevent it from being successful. Now that the temple is about to be built, they want invitations to the bhoomi-pujan ceremony.

  10. Where was the Congress when karsevaks were sacrificing their lives for the temple?

    If Sangh is taking full credit, they deserve it. They gave blood for the cause.

  11. You people never owned the movement for the Ram Mandir. You always disowned and opposed this issue.You declared Ram to be a fictitious character. So why this heartburn now?

  12. What a change of heart.

    Congress was asking birth certificate of ram and now screaming its bjp only event.

    Just astounding.

    On another note those asked for birth certificate of ram be prepared to produce your own kagaz.

    If Ram can show his kagaz every bhartiya will make sure the Indian Arabs better do it.

    Let’s go NRC.

  13. Oh really ? Says the party which single handedly tried to just wash away this “faith” with one stroke questioning the existence of the Ram Setu ! Oh the irony ! Congress is behaving like a mortal body trapped in a ton of quicksand ! Its being paid back in the same coin after all it learnt to do was plaster names of family over government run schemes and gloat over those “credits”. Serves them well ! Hypocrisy at its finest

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