303: Shashi

Let individuals make reasonable choice: Tharoor Amid Participation Of Oppn Leaders At Ram Temple

303: Shashi

Amid the row over the Left skipping out of the grand consecration of the Ram Temple in Ayodhya on January 22 and doubts around the participation of other top Opposition leaders invited to the event, Congress MP Shashi Tharoor on Thursday said the invitees should be able to make their choice in the matter.

The senior Congress leader said the Opposition leaders should not be branded ‘anti-Hindu’ if they don’t attend the consecration of the Ram Temple and neither should they be seen to be “playing into BJP hands” if they do.

Speaking to reporters on Thursday, the Thiruvananthapuram MP, taking a dig at a section of the media, said, “(There are attempts at) Putting the Congress leadership in a box and saying that if you go, that means you are playing into the hands of the BJP. If you don’t go, that means you are anti-Hindu. Let the individuals make a reasonable choice,” Tharoor said on Thursday.

On whether giving the consecration of the Ram Temple a miss could hurt the prospects of the Opposition in the Lok Sabha polls next year, Tharoor said, “People are trying to make it a political issue but is that fair?”

“Going to a temple is an individual decision. Individuals have been invited, let them make their own decisions. To my mind, a temple is absolutely not a political stage, it is a place for people to contemplate the divine and do their prayers and it is a personal choice. Individuals have been invited and letting individuals decide if they wish to go is my stand,” the Congress MP added.

Claiming that he was yet to receive a formal invite to attend the Ram Temple consecration, Tharoor said, “As far as I am concerned, I have not been invited, so I don’t have to make the decision. But my own view is that I don’t think of the temple as a political stage and if it is a political event, then it is not the same as going to the temple to pray. Going to the temple to pray to my mind is a different exercise. From going to the temple to attend a huge political gathering for political speeches led by political politicians, or for those reasons, I am not terribly inclined to see the issue in those terms.”

The MP informed further that three or four members of his party have been invited to the event.

“In my mind, let individuals make their own decision, as it is a personal choice. If the party takes a collective decision, they will let us know, but right now, three or four members have been invited from the party, and they will certainly be making the decisions,” Tharoor added.

Earlier, the chairman of the Ayodhya Ram Mandir Construction Committee invited former Congress president Sonia Gandhi, Congress president Mallikarjun Kharge and the party’s leader in the Lok Sabha, Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury for the consecration ceremony.

However, the attendance of senior Congress leaders has not yet been confirmed by the party.

The ceremony, scheduled for January 22, will witness the installation of the idol of Ram Lalla at the grand temple.

While Prime Minister Narendra Modi will preside over the grand temple opening, several dignitaries from all walks of life are also expected to attend the event.

The temple trust has also invited 4,000 saints of all sects for the ceremony.

The trust has decided to enthrone the idol of Lord Ram inside the sanctum sanctorum between noon and 12.45 pm on January 22.

Lakshmi Kant Dixit, a Vedic priest, is scheduled to perform the main rituals of the consecration ceremony on January 22. (ANI)

For more details visit us: https://lokmarg.com/

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