After backlash over declining the invitation to the Ram Mandir inauguration, Congress held a press conference on Friday (12 January) to clarify its stance and said that their refusal was only for the 22 January event, not the temple.
Congress media and publicity department's chairman Pawan Khera questioned the legitimacy of an invitation and said, "Will a political party decide which category of person will visit the temple on which date? Will a political party decide when I go to meet my God?"
He further said, "Shankaracharya of all four Peethas has clearly said that an incomplete temple cannot be consecrated. In such a situation, this program is not religious, this program is political. We will not tolerate that workers of a political party act as middlemen between me and my God in a political program."
Similarly, the chairperson of social media and digital platforms, Supriya Shrinate alleged "disgusting politicisation" of a religious event and said, "Religion is a matter of personal belief. It is completely wrong to do politics in religious rituals."
"We are not going to an event which is being held in the presence of Modi ji and RSS pramukh, where our Shankaracharyas are also not going. Uttar Pradesh Congress Committee and all its leaders along with the General Secretary in charge are going to visit Ayodhya on 15 January," she concluded.
Nishtha Anushree is Senior Sub-editor at Swarajya. She tweets at @nishthaanushree.
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