AHMEDABAD: Controversy broke out in the Gujarat Congress after top party leaders declined an invitation to attend the Ayodhya temple inauguration on January 22. Senior Congress officials in the state have openly questioned the high command’s decision.
Former Gujarat Congress president Arjun Modhwadia said the party should have refrained from making the “political decision”. Other senior Congress leaders from the state also sang the same tune.
The Congress announced on Wednesday that it would skip the Ayodhya temple’s consecration on January 22, citing it as a “political project” of the BJP and its mentor, the RSS. The party stated that its leaders — party chief Mallikarjun Kharge, his predecessor Sonia Gandhi and the party’s Lok Sabha leader Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury — who got the invitation have declined it.
Soon after the Congress made the announcement, Modhwadia, who is also the Porbandar MLA, criticised it, saying that Lord Ram is a source of faith and trust among the country’s people. “Bhagwan Shri Ram is revered as God in India. This is a matter of trust and belief for the people of India. @INCIndia should have avoided taking such a political decision,” he posted on X.
Agreeing with Modhwadia, Ambarish Der, a former Rajula MLA and working president of the Gujarat Congress, posted on X, “Maryada Purushottam Lord Shri Ram is our worshipable deity, so it is natural that the faith of countless people across India has been attached to this newly constructed temple over the years.”
Gujarat Congress co-convenor and spokesperson Hemang Raval wrote on social media, “I am glad to be a Hindu Brahmin by religion. There is no bigger name in the world than Shri Ram, neither was nor will be. If I had been invited to the glorious Ram temple’s inauguration, I would have gone without hesitation and I promise I will visit the temple soon. Jai, Shri Ram.