Himachal Pradesh declared a full-day public holiday for 22 January on the occasion of Ram Mandir Pran Pratishtha event, becoming the First Congress-ruled state to do so.
After the announcement, Chief Minister Sukhvinder Singh Sukhu said, "Ram is not of a single party. Ram is an ideal for all of us. For the people of India, Ram is our culture."
Sukhu pointed out the fact that the Centre has announced a half-day holiday on 22 January, while the Himachal Pradesh government announced a full holiday and requested the citizens of the state to light diyas on this occasion.
However, this is in contrast to the party's line which denounced the 22 January event as "RSS/BJP event". Clarifying its stance, the Congress said that the invitation decline was just a refusal for the 22 January event, not the temple.
Notably, Himachal Pradesh has the highest proportion of Hindu population with over 95 per cent of the people of the state following Hinduism.
Meanwhile, Uttar Pradesh and Maharashtra have also declared a full holiday on 22 January, while many states declared a half-day holiday along with a dry day announcement in some states.
The Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath-led Uttar Pradesh government also announced a ban on the sale of meat and fish in the state on 22 January after banning the sale of liquor for the day.
Nishtha Anushree is Senior Sub-editor at Swarajya. She tweets at @nishthaanushree.
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