Ram temple event 50-year political project of BJP-RSS: Congress

The Yatra plans to cover 6,713 km in 67 days while passing through 110 districts in 15 states.

Jorhat: The Congress on Thursday slammed the BJP and the RSS for politicising the Ram temple consecration ceremony and alleged that it is a 50-year-old political project of the saffron camp.

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Addressing a press conference at Puthinadi in Jorhat district, Congress general secretary Jairam Ramesh defended the party senior leaders’ stand of not accepting the invitation for Ram temple consecration ceremony, scheduled to take place on January 22.

“This event (consecration ceremony) is a 50-year-old political project of the BJP-RSS. The producer, director, main actor, only actor, music director is our Prime Minister. This is autocracy and we cannot accept that,” he added.

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Referring to Rahul Gandhi’s press conference in Nagaland during ‘Bharat Jodo Nyay Yatra’, Ramesh said the Congress is not anti-religious, but it respects all religions and celebrates all of them.

“We respect people’s faith in different religions. The Yatra is a multi-temple, multi-religious programme. The Yatra plays the shehnai of democracy,” he stressed.

Terming the consecration ceremony a political convention, Ramesh said the Congress is not in a position to be a part of this political plan, function and invitation.

“Religion is a personal issue and belief. Everyone has faith in different religions. We are a multi-religious, multi-linguistic and multi-regional society. Unity in diversity our Constitution and democracy are based on this,” he added.

Citing Gandhi, Ramesh said Congress cannot stop anyone from visiting temples, mosques or churches.

“Temples, mosques and churches will continue to be built because of people’s faith. Four big religions originated from this land.

“We don’t need any certificate from Narendre Modi or Amit Shah. Actually they are anti-religion, they don’t know the meaning of religion. Using religion for politics is against religion as well as against politics. It demeans religion,” he added.

On January 10, Congress president Mallikarjun Kharge, Sonia Gandhi and Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury “respectfully declined” the invitation to attend the Ram Temple consecration ceremony and accused the BJP and the RSS of making it into a “political project” for electoral gains.

Asked about the ‘Bharat Jodo Nyay Yatra’, Ramesh said, “It is a political party’s rally, it is a political rally. But it is not an electoral rally, seeking votes. It is about ideology and injustice.”

When the prime minister is talking about ‘Amrit Kal’, the march will speak about the injustices happening across the country, he added.

“The only agenda of BJP-RSS is polarisation. They want to polarise all the eight states of Northeast and introduce a unitary system. They carried out the delimitation in Assam with that purpose only,” Ramesh said.

Congress national general secretary-cum-incharge of Assam Jitendra Singh alleged that the ruling BJP is trying to divide the state in the name of religion, community, caste and language.

The Yatra, led by Congress leader Rahul Gandhi, commenced from Manipur on January 14 and will culminate on March 20 in Mumbai.

The Assam leg of the march, which began on Thursday morning, will continue till January 25. It will travel 833 km in 17 districts.

The Yatra plans to cover 6,713 km in 67 days while passing through 110 districts in 15 states.

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