Thousands of people from across the country are planning to attend the Ram Temple consecration ceremony in Ayodhya on January 22. Families of Dalit icons, ‘karsevaks’, and several other prominent personalities have been invited to attend the mega ceremony. But the government has not sent invites to any Chief Minister except for Yogi Adityanath, sources said.
“Except for Yogi Adityanath, the chief minister of host state Uttar Pradesh, no other chief minister has been invited for the “Pran Pratishtha” (consecration ceremony),” a source told NDTV.
The source also said that Union ministers and other top political leaders have not been “invited for them being a minister in a state or the Centre”.
Family members of Dalit icons BR Ambedkar, Jagjivan Ram, Kanshi Ram are among those invited for the January 22 ceremony. Family members of “karsevaks”, who died during the Ram Janmabhoomi movement, have also been invited for the event, which will be attended by Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
Three retired chief justices of the Supreme Court, retired chiefs of all three services– army, navy, and air force, former ambassadors, top bureaucrats, IPS officers holding “key positions” and “brothers and sisters honoured with the Nobel prize” are on the list invitees.
The invites for the Ram Temple event have also snowballed into a political row with BJP slamming opposition parties like the Congress for skipping the ceremony.
Congress leaders Sonia Gandhi, Mallikarjun Kharge, and Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury have declined the invite, calling the event a “political project” of the BJP and its ideological mentor Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) and asserting that “religion is a personal matter”.
The Left and the Trinamool Congress have also declared they will forgo the ceremony.
The BJP put out a “name and shame” tweet blasting some of the opposition leaders with the caption: “Note the faces of Sanatan opponents who rejected the invite for the Ram Mandir ceremony”.