Rajat Sharma


AKB30 President Droupadi Murmu on Wednesday offered prayers before Ram Lalla idol in the newly built temple in Ayodhya. In the evening, she watched Maha Aarti at Saryu river ghat. She also visited Hanuman Garhi to pray before Lord Hanuman. This was the President’s first visit to Ayodhya, where she stayed for nearly five hours. For the last several weeks, Congress leader Rahul Gandhi, Samajwadi Party chief Akhilesh Yadav and Congress President Mallikarjun Kharge had been repeatedly alleging at their election rallies that the President was not invited to the consecration ceremony of Ram Lalla idol on January 22, though a large number of dignitaries were invited. Shri Ram Janmbhoomi Teerth Keshtra general secretary Champat Rai rejected the opposition’s charge that the President was not invited for the consecration ceremony. Champat Rai said, both President Murmu and former President Ram Nath Kovind were invited and the opposition was spreading falsehood that they were not invited because of their castes. More than 1,300 km away from Ayodhya, in Sabarkantha, Prime Minister Narendra Modi lashed out at the Congress on Ram temple issue. Modi said, “this is the same Congress party which had warned that the country will be on fire if the Ram temple is built, but the reality is that the hearts of Congress leaders are on fire since the time Ram temple was built”. More than 1,500 km away from Ayodhya, in Solapur, Maharashtra, Uttar Pradesh chief minister Yogi Adityanath told a rally that Rahul Gandhi and his associates are worried over how the Ram temple was built within a short time. Yogi told voters, “these were the same leaders who doubted the very existence of Lord Ram, and had warned that rivers of blood will flow if the temple was built… Leaders who felt ashamed of taking Lord Ram’s name in public, are now yearning to visit Ram temple in Ayodhya, and the people know the truth”. He said, “neither Lord Ram nor Ram Bhakts will ever forgive the Congress for this”. Solapur is the place from where Congress leader Sushilkumar Shinde’s daughter Praniti Shinde is contesting. During UPA rule, Sushilkumar Shinde was the Home Minister and it was he who had coined the phrase “saffron terror”. In Lord Ram’s “nanihaal” (birthplace of Lord Ram’s mother Kaushalya) in Chhattisgarh, Home Minister Amit Shah lashed out at the Congress, saying the party had first questioned the existence of Lord Ram, then opposed the building of Ram temple, and thirdly rejected the invitation for attending the consecration ceremony. “Such a party must be taught a lesson”, Shah said. While Congress did not react, its ally Shiv Sena (UBT) leader Sanjay Raut said, “Modi government sent the President to Ayodhya, because BJP is eyeing tribal votes.” It is true that Ram temple is a big issue in this election, and almost every day there are debates on this point. BJP leaders remind how Narendra Modi’s efforts fulfilled the 500-year-old dream of Hindus for building a grand temple at Ram’s birthplace. Rahul Gandhi also mentions the consecration ceremony in his speeches and alleges that the President was not asked to attend the ceremony. Rahul alleges that Murmu was not asked to attend because she was a tribal. Probably Rahul Gandhi forgot that it was Narendra Modi who installed a tribal woman on the topmost Constitutional seat in India. It is good that the President’s Ram temple visit was kept away from political mudslinging today. Since Yogi Adityanath is the star campaigner of BJP and was busy campaigning, he could not be present in Ayodhya to welcome the President. The Governor Anandiben Patel welcomed the President. Ram temple in Ayodhya has become the centre of attraction for millions of people living in India’s villages. Within a span of three months, from January 22 till April 22, more than 1.5 crore people from across the world visited Ram temple in Ayodhya and prayed before Ram Lalla idol. This, in itself, is a world record. Vatican City is considered the holiest place for Christians living across the world, and it is a big religious tourist spot, that attracted nine million people every year. Mecca in Saudi Arabia is the holiest place of Muslims. Last year 1.35 crore devotees performed umrah in Mecca. One calculation is that nearly 10 crore devotees will have darshan of Ram Lalla in the first year of Ram temple. This will set a world record, which may not be surpassed by any other religious tourist spot.

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