ANI Photo | “Should have stayed away…”: Former Congress Gujarat chief criticises decision to turn down Ayodhya invite

Frowning on the decision by the Congress bigwigs to turn down the invite to the consecration ceremony of Ram Lalla at the grand temple in Ayodhya on January 22, the former party president in Gujarat on Wednesday said the high command should have refrained from taking such ‘political decisions’.
Earlier in the day, Congress national president Mallikarjun Kharge, former president Sonia Gandhi and the party’s Leader of the Opposition in the Lok Sabha, Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury, declined the invite to the ‘Pran Patishtha’ of Lord Ram in Ayodhya on January 22, labelling it as a ‘BJP-RSS event’.
However, Arjun Modhwadia, a senior Congress leader in Gujarat, took to social media platform X to express his disapproval of the party’s decision to skip the event.
“The Indian National Congress should have stayed away from making such political decisions,” the former Congress Gujarat chief posted from his official X handle on Wednesday.
“Lord Shri Ram is the deity of worship. This is a matter of faith and belief for the people of the country. The Indian National Congress should have stayed away from making such political decisions,” Modhwadia added in his post.
Earlier, on Wednesday, Congress general secretary (Communications) Jairam Ramesh informed through a press statement that the Congress president and LoP Rajya Sabha Mallikarjun Kharge, Congress Parliamentary Party chairperson Sonia Gandhi and Leader of Congress in Lok Sabha Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury declined the invitation to attend the Pran Pratishtha of the Ram Temple in Ayodhya.
“Last month, the Congress President and Leader of the Opposition in the Rajya Sabha, Mallikarjun Kharge, the Congress Parliamentary Party Chairperson, Sonia Gandhi and the Leader of the Congress Party in the Lok Sabha, Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury, received an invitation to attend the inauguration ceremony of the Ram Mandir at Ayodhya, to be held on January 22nd, 2024,” as per the Congress General Secretary (Communications) Jairam Ramesh press statement.
“Lord Ram is worshipped by millions in our country. Religion is a personal matter. But the RSS and 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,” as per the statement.
“While abiding by the 2019 Supreme Court judgement and honouring the sentiments of millions who revere Lord Ram, Mallikarjun Kharge, Smt. Sonia Gandhi and Shri Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury have respectfully declined the invitation to what is clearly an RSS/BJP event,” it added.
Vedic rituals for the Pran-Pratishtha ceremony of Ram Lalla in Ayodhya will begin on January 16, a week before the main ceremony. A priest from Varanasi, Lakshmi Kant Dixit, will perform the main rituals of the consecration ceremony of Ram Lalla on January 22. From January 14 to January 22, Ayodhya will mark the Amrit Mahotsav.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi will preside over the installation of the idol of Ram Lalla at the grand temple on January 22

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