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Why did the Congress turn down Ram Mandir invite? Will it hurt the party’s chances in 2024?

The historic pran pratishtha or consecration ceremony at Ayodhya’s Ram Mandir is simply days away – it’s scheduled for 22 January – and politics across the occasion is heating up.

The Congress’ prime echelon, Mallikarjun Kharge, Sonia Gandhi and the celebration’s Lok Sabha chief Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury, who had acquired invitations for the 22 January grand occasion to be held in Ayodhya have declined.

However will this determination damage the Congress within the upcoming 2024 Lok Sabha polls?

We get you the total lowdown on the matter – from the celebration’s refusal to the occasion to the impression of such a choice on the 2024 normal elections.

Congress turns down Ram Mandir invite

For the 22 January grand event, for which large prep is being undertaken, the Shri Ram Janmabhoomi Teerth Kshetra Belief has been handing out invitations to VIPs throughout the nation and the world.

The temple belief had additionally prolonged these invitations to Sonia Gandhi, Mallikarjun Kharge and Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury final month. Since receiving the invitation, the celebration had remained non-committal on their presence on the occasion, till Wednesday (10 January).

It was on Wednesday that the celebration introduced that its leaders wouldn’t attend the event on 22 January, saying the consecration occasion has “clearly” turn out to be an RSS/BJP occasion.

Why did the Congress turn down Ram Mandir invite Will it hurt the party in 2024 polls
Congress president Mallikarjun Kharge and Sonia Gandhi have turned down the invitation to the consecration ceremony on 22 January, calling it a BJP/RSS occasion. File picture/PTI

The celebration’s assertion learn, “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 been obviously brought forward for electoral gain. While abiding by the 2019 Supreme Court judgment and honouring the sentiments of millions who revere Lord Ram, Shri Mallikarjun Kharge, Smt. Sonia Gandhi and Shri Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury have respectfully declined the invitation to what is clearly an RSS/BJP event.”

The Congress’ refusal to attend the occasion stems from the truth that they consider that the consecration ceremony is usually a BJP affair. Earlier, they’d questioned the presence of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat, Uttar Pradesh chief minister Yogi Adityanath and Governor Anandiben Patel within the sanctum sanctorum of the temple on the day of the ceremony. They’ve mentioned that this clearly reveals the State-sponsored nature of the occasion.

There are additionally historic causes for the Congress to show down the invite for the occasion. The Ram Temple has through the years been largely related to the Sangh Parivar. The Congress has stayed away from the contentious dispute, and in 2019 when the Supreme Courtroom delivered its verdict, the celebration had mentioned it revered the court docket’s determination.

Also read: ‘Mauni Mata’, the woman who will break a 30-year ‘vow of silence’ after Ram temple opening

Congress’ determination and the 2024 polls

However will the Congress’ determination damage the celebration’s prospects in 2024? There are various inside the celebration who consider that staying away from the Ram Mandir occasion will damage their probabilities within the normal elections.

One Congress chief mentioned that the BJP would use this chance to painting Congress as anti-Hindu. Talking to Indian Specific, he mentioned, “The temple trust does not belong to any party and was set up by the national government. Staying away will amount to completely ceding the space… And we will be projected as anti-Hindu. After all, it was during Rajiv Gandhi’s time that the locks of the temple were opened and the shilanyas was permitted.”

Congress’ Arjun Modhwadia additionally questioned the celebration’s determination to show down the temple invite. “Bhagwan Shri Ram is worshiped as God in India. This is a subject of trust and belief of people of India. @INCIndia should have stayed away from taking such a political decision,” he posted on X.

Why did the Congress turn down Ram Mandir invite Will it hurt the party in 2024 polls
Artists make a graffiti depicting Lord Ram and Goddess Sita on the wall of an overbridge forward of the consecration of the Ram Mandir, in Ayodhya. PTI

And the fears of some leaders of being dubbed anti-Hindu has already fructified. The BJP hit out on the Congress for turning down the invitation for the consecration occasion. BJP spokesperson Nalin Kohli mentioned, “Congress took no steps over the last few decades for a temple in Ayodhya. They denied the existence of Lord Ram and delayed the hearing in the Supreme Court. So, the Congress party officially stating that it is not going to attend Ram Mandir Pran Pratishtha (consecration ceremony) should come as no surprise.”

Jaiveer Shergill, who left the Congress and joined the BJP, was extra scathing in his feedback. “First Stalin’s DMK spoke of finishing Sanatana Dharma. Then Sharad Pawar’s NCP declared Lord Ram a meat eater. Today, Congress party declined the invitation to the pran pratishtha. This is not a coincidence but a well-thought plan by INDIA bloc to hurt the beliefs of Indians,” including that ‘Nafrat ka samaan’ is offered at ‘Mohabbat ki Dukan’ spoken of by Rahul Gandhi”.

A number of BJP ministers additionally chimed in, accusing the Congress of being anti-Hindu. Data and Broadcasting minister Anurag Thakur mentioned, “Today when the Congress has decided to boycott the pran pratishtha ceremony, it can be clearly seen that the people of India will also boycott them.”

Girls and little one improvement minister Smriti Irani echoed comparable statements. “The Congress party’s anti-Lord Ram face has been exposed before the country. They had earlier presented documents in court denying the existence of Lord Ram and now they have declined the pran pratishtha invitation,” she mentioned.

Even ballot pundits consider that the choice by the Congress will damage its probabilities within the 2024 polls. The Congress’ determination to steer clear from the Ram Mandir occasion cements that the cost by the BJP that the celebration is anti-Hindu – ultimately hurting its prospects within the 2024 polls.

Also read: Nagara-style architecture, no iron: What the historic Ram temple in Ayodhya will look like

Some pundits consider that the choice additionally reinstates the idea within the widespread man that the Congress is extra all for political appeasement. The specialists consider that Congress staff will discover it arduous to elucidate to the voter why their leaders steered clear from the 22 January occasion and this can seemingly replicate on the poll sales space.

Rasheed Kidwai, a senior journalist, political analyst and long-time observer of the Congress, additionally notes that this determination exposes the division inside the celebration. In an India Right this moment editorial, he wrote that the transfer highlights the dearth of an ‘Ayodhya doctrine’.

Why did the Congress turn down Ram Mandir invite Will it hurt the party in 2024 polls
A employee carves a stone pillar contained in the under-construction Hindu Ram Temple in Ayodhya. Reuters

Divisions inside INDIA bloc

And the Congress just isn’t alone in its refusal to attend the occasion on 22 January. INDIA bloc companions have additionally made it clear that they’d skip the ceremony.

Mamata Banerjee’s Trinamool Congress referred to as the 22 January a ‘gimmick. The West Bengal chief minister added that “she does not support festivities that exclude other communities”.

“Yesterday I was asked to comment on Ram Mandir in Ayodhya as if I have nothing else to do. I said that religion belongs to individuals but festivals are for all. I believe only in those festivities that unite people,” she mentioned.

“The BJP is doing it (Ram Temple inauguration) under court’s instruction but it is a gimmick show before the Lok Sabha polls… I don’t believe in dividing people on religious lines,” she added.

The Communist Occasion of India-Marxist (CPIM)’s Sitaram Yechury mentioned the celebration doesn’t condone the politicisation of non secular perception.

Nonetheless, Sharad Pawar of the NCP mentioned he wouldn’t want an invitation and go there as and when it’s “destined”. Samajwadi Occasion chief Dimple Yadav earlier introduced she is going to attend the inauguration if invited.

With inputs from companies

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