#AyodhyaDiary: The states that wouldn't shut down

Despite state units of the BJP pushing for a holiday on 22 January for pran pratishtha in the Ayodhya Ram Mandir, almost half the states maintain a working day

Kerala chief minister Pinarayi Viajayan made it a point to avoid state concessions to the Ram Temple inauguration in Ayodhya, and was out distributing land deeds to tribal families in Malappuram (photo courtesy @pinarayivijayan/X)
Kerala chief minister Pinarayi Viajayan made it a point to avoid state concessions to the Ram Temple inauguration in Ayodhya, and was out distributing land deeds to tribal families in Malappuram (photo courtesy @pinarayivijayan/X)
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NH Political Bureau

While the Union government and a majority of states and Union territories declared a public holiday — or at least a half day — in ecstasy over the inauguration of the Ayodhya Ram Temple today, 22 January, it was business as usual in the five southern states.

Despite the BJP pushing for a holiday on 22 January, these five state governments elected to continue with a working day: Andhra Pradesh, Telangana, Karnataka, Kerala and Tamil Nadu.

While 17 states did declare holidays during the pran pratishthan in the Ram Mandir, the other almost-half of the country did not.

Most of the eastern states also held out and kept the wheels of the government at least turning. Bihar, Jharkhand and West Bengal kept going. So did most of the Seven Sisters of the North-East.

While Assam eschewed business, booze as well as banning sale of meat and fish, raw or cooked, Tripura went half-day. However, the neighbouring states of Sikkim (the one 'brother' state of the 'sisters'), Mizoram, Meghalaya, Manipur, Arunachal Pradesh and Nagaland, government offices and schools and colleges stayed on task.

In the North, Ladakh kept at its day's work, as did Punjab.

Various local leaders and interest groups in each of these states did hold celebrations of their own—but the state machinery kept an arm's length.

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