Ram temple, Ayodhya, Pran Pratishtha
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Prime Minister Narendra Modi is set to lead the ‘pran pratishtha’ ceremony of the Ram Temple in Ayodhya, a grand spectacle marking the fulfillment of a long-standing dream. The event is accompanied by major infrastructure projects, including a new airport and a refurbished railway station. Despite its significance, the invitee list, excluding most BJP chief ministers, has drawn criticism for its exclusivity. Opposition leaders like Sonia Gandhi, Mamata Banerjee, and Sharad Pawar have declined invitations, calling out the BJP’s politicization of the religious event. However, the opposition is also planning alternative events to address the religious-political balance.

Mamata Banerjee plans to visit the Kalighat temple in Kolkata and organize a communal harmony rally, while Rahul Gandhi is set to visit a temple in Assam as part of his Bharat Jodo Nyay Yatra. Sharad Pawar expressed gratitude for the invite but won’t attend, suggesting it’s easier to get darshan post the “historic event.” Lalu Prasad Yadav, DMK, and the Left have also declined the invitations, citing concerns about the event’s political connotations. Meanwhile, Odisha plans to unveil the Jagannath Heritage Corridor as a strategic move to boost religious sentiments and counter the BJP’s influence.

The opposition’s varied responses reflect the delicate balance of navigating the intersection of religion and politics in the run-up to the general elections. Despite their reservations, the opposition leaders are mindful of the temple’s significance and its potential impact on voters, prompting them to organize alternative events to maintain political relevance. The ceremony itself is expected to be a major political event, with PM Modi delivering a crucial speech amidst the ongoing construction of the Ram Temple, expected to be a centerpiece in the BJP’s election campaign.


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