Sitaram Yechury declines invitation to attend Ram Temple inauguration 

CPI(M) Polit Bureau says religious ceremony is being converted into a ‘state-sponsored event for political gain’. 

December 26, 2023 04:05 pm | Updated January 09, 2024 11:37 am IST - New Delhi

CPI (M) general secretary Sitaram Yechury. File

CPI (M) general secretary Sitaram Yechury. File | Photo Credit: V. Raju

 Declining the invitation to attend the inauguration of Ram Temple in Ayodhya, CPI(M) general secretary Sitaram Yechury slammed the ruling BJP for converting a religious ceremony into a “state- sponsored event for political gain”. 

The Ram temple will be inaugurated on January 22 at Ayodhya. In the run-up to the inauguration, on Saturday Prime Minister Narendra Modi is going to inaugurate the airport in the city. 

Nirpendra Mishra, Chairman of Ayodhya Ram Mandir Construction Committee along with a VHP functionary had met Mr. Yechury to extend a formal invitation for the event. Arguing that religion was an individual choice and that the CPI(M) respected and safeguarded every individual’s right to choose their particular form of faith, Mr. Yechury said that the January 22 event was disconsonant with the Indian Constitutional order. “The Indian Constitution and the Supreme Court have very clearly said that the state shall not profess any religious affiliations. This inauguration ceremony is being converted into a state-sponsored event with the presence of both Prime Minister Narendra Modi and U.P. Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath. It is a straightforward politicisation of the religious belief of people, which we don’t think is in consonance with the Constitutional order that we have,” he said. 

Earlier in the day, Polit Bureau member Brinda Karat said that “using religion as a political weapon or to advance a political agenda is not right.” 

Echoing similar views, CPI general secretary D. Raja also asked why the state machinery was being deployed for a purely religious function.

Reacting to the news reports of Mr. Yechury’s decision to not attend the inauguration ceremony, Union Minister of State Meenakshi Lekhi said, “The invitations have been sent to all. Those called by Lord Ram will only reach (Ayodhya, for the ‘Pran Pratishtha’ ceremony at Ram Temple).”

Meanwhile, VHP National Spokesperson Vinod Bansal took to X (formerly Twitter) to take a dig at Mr. Yechury. “There are reports that the one whose name is Sitaram will not go to Ayodhya Dham. Political opposition is understandable, but if someone has so much hatred for his own name, he can only be a communist,” he wrote.

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