Mallikarjun Kharge Clarifies: ‘Hurting Religion Not Our Intention’ Amidst Controversy Over Ram Temple

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Mallikarjun Kharge Clarifies: ‘Hurting Religion Not Our Intention‘ Amidst Controversy Over Ram Temple

Congress President Kharge: Ram Temple Inauguration a BJP Conspiracy, Skips Event
Source – NDTV

New Delhi, January 20, 2023

Congress President Mallikarjun Kharge affirmed the party’s stance on the upcoming consecration of the under-construction Ram Temple in Ayodhya, dismissing the event as a “conspiracy of the BJP.” Kharge, along with ex-boss Sonia Gandhi and Lok Sabha chief Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury, declined an invitation to attend the inauguration, citing concerns over the political nature of the event.

In a press conference, Kharge emphasized that the party’s decision to skip the ceremony was not intended to hurt religious sentiments. He urged Prime Minister Narendra Modi to prioritize critical national issues, such as unemployment and the cost of living crisis, over events with potential political implications.

“Hurting any religion or guru is not our issue. Our issue is this – what work is the PM doing to ensure jobs for the public? What steps is he taking to control inflation? What is he doing for poor people?” questioned Kharge.

Source – ANI

Kharge criticized the BJP for orchestrating a “conspiracy” by repeatedly highlighting the Ram Temple issue in public discourse ahead of the general election. He suggested that the BJP deliberately flooded public narratives with references to the Ram Temple and then attacked the Congress for choosing not to participate in the event.

“It is a conspiracy of the BJP that (the party) is raising this issue again and again,” Kharge asserted.

The Congress leader pointed out that all four shankaracharya, heads of the four main Hindu religious centers, had also decided not to attend the event. He questioned why there was no outrage over their decision, emphasizing that it was wrong to engage in politics over religious rituals.

“We are not declining a visit (to Ayodhya). We are not going to the January 22 event that is being held in the presence of PM Modi and the RSS chief. Shankaracharyas are not going either… we don’t want to be a part of the disgusting politics that is being done,” stated Supriya Shrine, a senior Congress leader.

The Congress had kept political observers in suspense over its decision, finally taking a stand on Wednesday. Jairam Ramesh, a prominent Congress leader, criticized the BJP and RSS for turning a religious matter into a “political project.” He accused the BJP of bringing forward the inauguration of an incomplete temple for electoral gain.

While respecting the sentiments of millions who revere Lord Ram and abiding by the 2019 Supreme Court judgment on the Ram Temple issue, Kharge, Sonia Gandhi, and Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury respectfully declined the invitation to what they described as an RSS/BJP event.

The BJP promptly seized on the Congress’s decision, with Assam Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma labeling them “anti-Hindu.” BJP spokesperson Sudhanshu Trivedi accused the Congress of being “jealous” of Prime Minister Modi. The consecration of the Ram Temple is scheduled for a grand ceremony on January 22.

The Congress’s refusal to participate in the event has fueled political tensions, with both parties exchanging barbs over the perceived politicization of the religious ceremony. The Ram Temple inauguration continues to be a contentious issue, reflecting the intersection of religion and politics in Indian public discourse.

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