BJP rushing into Ram temple inauguration for upcoming polls: Ramesh Chennithala

Congress leader slams BJP over the inauguration of under-construction Ram temple after Shankaracharya criticism

Ramesh Chennithala (photo: National Herald archives)
Ramesh Chennithala (photo: National Herald archives)
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NH Digital

The Congress on Thursday slammed the BJP government over the inauguration of the under-construction Ram temple on 22 January and claimed the ruling party is hurrying with the opening of the temple in Ayodhya for political gain.

Referring to Jyotir Mutt head Shankaracharya Avimukteshwaranand Saraswati's refusal to attend the grand ceremony, senior Congress leader Ramesh Chennithala alleged the installation of the Ram Lalla idol isn't being conducted in accordance with religious procedures.

"The Shankaracharya has publicly said the temple is still half-built and it is not appropriate to conduct the pran pratishtha in a half-built temple, but the BJP is in a hurry and the inauguration of the Ram temple is being organised for benefits in the upcoming polls," Chennithala told PTI.

Supporters of the temple, meanwhile, have claimed that it is not necessary for a temple to be completed before the pran pratishtha can be performed, citing the example of Gujarat's Somnath temple, which was reportedly inaugurated before it could be completed in the 1950s.

However, going by available documentation, Somnath was reconstructed rather than newly built, from its ruined state in the 19th-century, and the current temple was rebuilt all through the 1940s and 1950s by architect Prabhashankarbhai Oghadbhai Sompura using recovered parts from the previous temple along with new building material.

Chennithala said the Congress is not against the Ram Temple as everyone has religious freedom. He even pointed out that many Congress leaders have visited Ayodhya, including the party's Uttar Pradesh in charge Avinash Pandey, who was there on Makar Sankranti and took darshan of 'Ram Lalla'.

Congress leader Pawan Khera had earlier claimed that the religious leaders wanted to hold the ceremony on Ram Navami. "There is no dharma and aastha (faith), there is only politics in this (event)," Khera told PTI

The pran pratishtha (consecration) of the Ram Temple will be held on 22 January, with several dignitaries led by Prime Minister Narendra Modi scheduled to take part. However, some spiritual leaders have said the ceremony should wait until the temple construction is completed, adding that the month of Paus in the Hindu calendar (mid January-mid February) is inauspicious according to scriptures.

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