Ayodhya Ram Temple: Sharad Pawar declines to attend Pran Pratishtha ceremony

Mr. Pawar’s decision to skip the January 22 event comes at a time when his alliance partners in the Opposition have said that they would not be attending the ceremony

Updated - January 17, 2024 03:45 pm IST

Published - January 17, 2024 03:26 pm IST - Pune

Nationalist Congress Party President Sharad Pawar addresses during a press conference at Party Head Office in Mumbai.

Nationalist Congress Party President Sharad Pawar addresses during a press conference at Party Head Office in Mumbai. | Photo Credit: ANI

Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) chief Sharad Pawar on Wednesday declined the invitation to attend the consecration ceremony of the Ram Temple at Ayodhya on January 22, stating that he would visit the temple at leisure once its construction was complete.

In a letter to the General Secretary of Ram Janmabhoomi Teerth Kshetra, Champat Rai, Mr. Pawar thanked Mr. Rai for the invite to attend the Pran Pratishtha ceremony of the Ram Temple in Ayodhya.

“I am grateful for the invitation. Shri Ram is the symbol of faith and hope for crores of devotees not just in India but across the world. The devotees of Lord Ram are enthusiastic and eager to witness the ceremony at Ayodhya. The joy of this ceremony will reach me through them. After the ceremony on January 22, it will be easier to take the darshan of Ram Lalla. I do have a programme to visit Ayodhya and at that time, I can pay my respects to Lord Ram with much devotion and at leisure. By then, the construction of Ram Temple will also be completed,” the octogenarian NCP leader said in his letter to Mr. Rai.

Also read: Ayodhya | Building a city around a temple

Earlier, Mr. Pawar had said that he had not received an invitation for the January 22 event, while remarking that even if he did, he would not visit Ayodhya on that date due owing to the massive crowds that would converge for the ceremony.

Mr. Pawar’s decision to skip the Ayodhya event comes at a time when his alliance partners in the Opposition Indian National Developmental Inclusive Alliance bloc and the Maha Vikas Aghadi in Maharashtra - including the Congress, the Shiv Sena (UBT), and the Trinamool Congress among others - have said that they would not be attending the ceremony.

The Congress claimed the ceremony had been turned into a “BJP-RSS” event while Shiv Sena (UBT) chief Uddhav Thackeray has announced he would visit the famous Kalaram Temple in Nashik on January 22.

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