Not just the country, the BJP is dividing Sanatan Dharma too: Congress ahead of 15 Jan Ayodhya visit
The Congress also accused the BJP of "waging war" against Shankaracharyas, and questioned the timing and sanctity of the pran pratishtha ceremony
Amidst the controversy surrounding the Congress' decision to not participate in the pran pratishtha (consecration) ceremony on 22 January at the Ram Temple in Ayodhya, the party has clarified that senior leaders from Uttar Pradesh will still visit Ayodhya on Makar Sankranti to offer prayers at the makeshift temple.
Addressing media in Delhi on Friday, Supriya Shrinate, the party's head of ’ social media and digital platforms, affirmed that a delegation of UP Congress leaders will indeed make the trip. However, she took the opportunity to criticise PM Modi's government, accusing it of dividing Sanatan Dharma.
"The BJP has attempted to divide this country on the basis of caste, language, worship, and dress, but now the BJP has divided Sanatan Dharma itself into sects. We have refused to go only on 22 January. The Congress considers personal faith supreme. We have visited temples, mosques, gurudwaras, churches, and will continue to do so," she said.
The UP Congress had previously announced that its state in-charge Avinash Pande and Uttar Pradesh Congress Committee chief Ajay Rai would lead a 100-member delegation, including senior state leaders Pramod Tiwari and P.L. Punia, to Ayodhya for a darshan of Ram Lalla.
Rai emphasised, "Congress leaders from the state will visit Ayodhya as per the scheduled programme. The 22 January event related to the pran pratishtha is a different matter."
During their Ayodhya visit, the Congress leaders plan to participate in traditional rituals, including taking a dip in the Sarayu river, and visit the Ram Temple and Hanuman Garhi, as stated by a senior party official.
Addressing media at the AICC headquarters, head of the party's media department Pawan Khera attacked the RSS-BJP for running a campaign against the Shankaracharyas who have also refused to take part in the pran pratishtha ceremony.
Saying that “an entire organisation has become a contractor of my religion, their entire IT cell is waging a campaign against the Shankaracharyas of the four peeths”, Khera added, “Religion, policy and faith are not visible anywhere in this entire event, only politics is visible. The date of 22 January has not been chosen for the consecration of the temple, rather the date has been decided after observing the elections.”
“We cannot see our god and faith being played with for the sake of one person's political spectacle. The construction work of the temple should be completed duly, but no devotee will tolerate any kind of political interference in it,” the Congress leader added.
Khera also had a few questions to ask PM Modi, such as, "Who are you to impose VVIP entry for pran pratishtha? Who are you to help Lord Ram walk holding his finger in an advertisement, are you above God?"
PM Modi, who will preside over the consecration ceremony, said he would begin an 11-day period of rituals ahead of the event. Calling it a "huge responsibility", he released a video message on Friday that said, “Only 11 days remain to the pran pratishthan of Ram Lalla in Ayodhya. I am fortunate that I too will witness this auspicious occasion. This is a time of unimaginable experiences for me. I am emotional, overwhelmed with emotions! I am going through such emotions for the first time in my life. I am experiencing a different kind of devotion.”
Apart from Modi, RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat, UP chief minister Yogi Adityanath and governor Anandi Ben Patel and the priests who are performing rituals will be allowed to enter the sanctum sanctorum on 22 January.