PM Modi Rakes Up Ram Temple Invitation Snub By India Bloc: Will It Impact Opposition In Lok Sabha Elections?

PM Modi Rakes Up Ram Temple Invitation Snub By India Bloc: Will It Impact Opposition In Lok Sabha Elections?

Addressing a rally in Uttar Pradesh’s Pilibhit on Tuesday, Prime Minister Narendra Modi attacked the Opposition parties and accused them of obstructing the temple’s construction and disrespecting Lord Ram

Abhishek SinghUpdated: Tuesday, April 09, 2024, 04:08 PM IST
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INDI alliance's decision to boycott the Ram Temple consecration ceremony held earlier this year in Ayodhya has returned to haunt them with PM Modi's attack, raising questions about its potential impact on the opposition parties' fortunes in the upcoming Lok Sabha elections.

Addressing a rally in Uttar Pradesh’s Pilibhit on Tuesday, Prime Minister Narendra Modi attacked the Opposition parties and accused them of obstructing the temple’s construction and disrespecting Lord Ram by snubbing the 'pran pratishta' ceremony, which received overwhelming support and contributions from every corner of the country.

PM Modi highlighted the significance of the Ram Temple not just as a religious monument but as a symbol of national unity and devotion. Modi’s words resonate with sentiments deeply ingrained in the hearts of millions of Indians who, cutting across party lines, have long awaited the fulfillment of this cherished dream.

“INDI alliance parties have always hated the construction of the Ram Temple. Whatever you wanted to do in courts you did, but when the organizers invited you respectfully for the Pran Pratishtha, you rejected the invite and insulted Lord Ram. Those from their party who attended the ceremony were suspended from the party for six years...Congress is so deep into appeasement politics that they will never be able to come out of it. Congress' manifesto appears to be that of Muslim League's not their own," said PM Modi.

He urged the people to remember those who had committed the "sin".

PM Modi's remarks underscore a broader narrative of ideological polarisation, with the BJP portraying itself as the guardian of Hindu interests against what it perceives as a Congress agenda of appeasement. Modi's characterisation of the Congress manifesto as akin to the Muslim League's further fuels this narrative, amplifying the perception of a deep-rooted ideological divide.

Congress had decided to skip the Ram idol consecration event in Ayodhya, citing it as an "RSS/BJP event."

In a statement, the Congress mentioned, "Lord Ram is worshipped by millions in our country. Religion is a personal matter. But the RSS/BJP have long made a political project of the temple in Ayodhya. The inauguration of the incomplete temple by the leaders of the BJP and the RSS has been obviously brought forward for electoral gain. While abiding by the 2019 Supreme Court judgment and honoring the sentiments of millions who revere Lord Ram, Shri Mallikarjun Kharge, Smt. Sonia Gandhi, and Shri Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury have respectfully declined the invitation to what is clearly an RSS/BJP event."

This move, perceived by many as a political calculation aimed at distancing itself from the BJP's narrative, has invited criticism and accusations of playing divisive politics. By boycotting the event, the Congress risked alienating a significant section of voters who view the temple's construction as a momentous occasion deserving of bipartisan support.

But will this stance adversely affect the Congress in the upcoming 2024 Lok Sabha elections?

There is concern within the party that this decision may harm its prospects in the 2024 elections. Some Congress members fear that the BJP will use this opportunity to portray Congress as anti-Hindu. Arjun Modhwadia of the Congress has questioned the party's decision to decline the temple invite, emphasising the importance of respecting the beliefs of the people. Jaiveer Shergill, who switched from the Congress to the BJP, criticised the grand old party for its stance, suggesting it could hurt the beliefs of Indians.

Poll analysts also believe that the Congress' decision will negatively impact its chances in the 2024 elections, reinforcing the BJP's narrative that the party is anti-Hindu. They argue that the decision reflects poorly on the Congress's political strategy and could be difficult to justify to voters.

The clash over the Ram Temple exposes the fault lines within the political landscape, with each party vying to position itself favorably in the eyes of the electorate. The BJP's steadfast commitment to the temple's construction is seen as a testament to its unwavering dedication to Hindutva ideals, while the Congress's cautious approach reflects its efforts to navigate a delicate balance between secularism and religious sensitivities, which many political thinkers believe, in the current state of affairs might dent its prospects in terms of the number of seats in the upcoming general elections. 

As the political rhetoric intensifies, it is crucial to recognize the underlying implications of this discourse on the democratic fabric of our nation. The Ram Temple issue, while deeply emotive and symbolic, should not overshadow the pressing concerns of governance, development, and social harmony. While the temple's construction holds cultural significance, it should not be exploited as a political tool to further partisan agendas.

In the run-up to the 2024 polls, both the BJP and the Congress must exercise restraint and focus on issues that truly matter to the electorate. Rather than engaging in a divisive blame game, political parties should prioritise inclusive governance and address the multifaceted challenges facing our nation.

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