Congress president Mallikarjun Kharge dismissed the controversy surrounding the Congress’s decision to boycott the Ram Temple consecration event on January 22, attributing it to a BJP conspiracy. He reiterated the party’s stance that their intention is not to offend any religious sentiments but to reject the BJP/RSS event, which they view as a political move.
In a statement, the Congress announced that Sonia Gandhi, Mallikarjun Kharge, and Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury would not be attending the event, sparking a major controversy. The BJP seized the opportunity to label the Congress as anti-Hindu, with Assam chief minister Himanta Biswa Sarma stating that they shouldn’t have been invited in the first place. Some BJP leaders even shared a photo of Rahul Gandhi visiting Babur Tomb in Kabul in 2005, claiming that Congress harbors hatred only for Hindus. However, there were voices within the Congress suggesting that party leadership should have attended the event.
On Friday, the BJP released a video claiming that opposing Lord Ram has been a tradition of the Congress. In response, the Congress questioned why the BJP wasn’t scrutinizing the four Shankaracharyas who also decided not to attend the event.
The Congress clarified that Uttar Pradesh Congress committee leaders would visit the temple on January 15. They raised questions about the protocol for temple visits, asking whether one needs an invitation and expressing skepticism about the political motives behind the chosen date. Congress leader Pawan Khera emphasized that the date seemed to be selected with an eye on upcoming elections rather than a genuine religious commitment.