Ram temple consecration was not a BJP event: Nadda

BJP Chief JP Nadda underlined in the Rajya Sabha during the debate on construction of the Ram temple and its consecration on Saturday that those alleging that it was a party event are mistaken as the ceremony was performed by Prime Minister Narendra Modi and no leader from his organisation was present. Those who had avoided the program appear to be in the “neither here nor there” category.

The discussion on the resolution moved by BJP member Sudhanshu Trivedi saw the participation of members from different parties, with some charging that while Lord Ram belongs to and is revered by everybody the ruling party has politicised the issue for its own electoral benefit. The Opposition alleged that attempts have been made all along to use the issue to create fissures.

Nadda and Leader of the House Piyush Goyal, as well as other BJP members, heaped praise on Modi for the whole movement. “We (BJP) had decided in our Palampur conclave in 1989 that we will clear the way for the construction of the Ram temple at Ayodhya but some people tried to create roadblocks,” Nadda said, adding that as president of the BJP youth wing he was witness to and suffered the police action, jail, and other hardships along with other supporters.

“The Sanatan Dharma also showed immense patience and followed all maryadas (principles) during the struggle. We did not try to take any political advantage out of this issue. No political statement was made by BJP from the court verdict to the Shilanyas to the consecration. This issue was a matter of conviction for us,” Nadda said. He asserted that BR Ambedkar has given space to Lord Ram in the Constitution while Mahatma Gandhi preached Ram Rajya.

Goyal emphasised that Modi has been an active participant in the Ayodhya movement since the previous decades and seen all stages of the process. The consecration has increased the flow of pilgrims with 20 Lakh people having darshan since January 22, 2024. He also pointed out the jump in economic prospects due to the new infrastructure from the railway station to the airport.

Congress maintained that while it supports the Ram temple and its leaders will visit it, the BJP has tried to appropriate the issue. Pramod Tiwari said an incomplete temple has been consecrated and also sought to know why the prime minister performed the consecration when a priest should have done it.

“The most ardent devotee of Lord Ram was Mahatma Gandhi,” Tiwari said, adding that while those affiliated with his assassin Nathuram Godse are laying claim to him, the party whose leaders Indira Gandhi and Rajiv sacrificed their lives for the nation are being attacked. Randeep Surjewala alleged that BJP has used the issue to divide people and the deity will never forgive them for this.

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William Murphy

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