Senior Congress leader and former Madhya Pradesh chief minister Kamal Nath on Wednesday said that late Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi was the first person to pave the way for the construction of the Ram Temple and it is wrong if anybody attempts to take credit for the same.
Talking to reporters here Kamal Nath said, "Today is a historic day in our country, for a long time every Indian wanted construction of Ram Mandir to begin. Rajiv Gandhi ji had opened the lock in 1985, he said in 1989 that there will be Ram Rajya and temple should be built. If someone tries to take credit, it is wrong." The former chief minister had earlier on Wednesday organised a 'Ram Darbar' on the occasion of the 'bhoomi pujan' of the Ram Temple at Ayodhya.
Other leaders from the Congress Party also commented on the bhoomi pujan ceremony of the Ram temple in Ayodhya that was conducted by Prime Minister Narendra Modi yesterday.
In-charge of the Congress in Uttar Pradesh, Priyanka Gandhi Vadra had tweeted in Hindi: "Simplicity, courage, restraint, sacrifice, commitment, are the essence of the name Deenbandhu Ram. Ram is with everyone, Ram is with everyone." Congress Rajya Sabha MP and former Union Minister Anand Sharma also tweeting in Hindi said, "The construction of a grand temple on the Shri Ram Janmabhoomi was the wish of residents of Ayodhya and crores of devotees of Lord Ram in the world for a long time. Today this wish is fulfilled. My best wishes to all Ayodhya residents and devotees of Lord Ram." Congress MP Shashi Tharoor said, "ShriRam is not the property of BJP. He is the ideal man whose image is deeply etched in the hearts and minds of millions. Gandhiji always sang his hymns and died with "Hei Ram" on his lips. He talked about a Ram Rajya where all would live in peace and prosperity. Can't let His name be hijacked!", Tharoor posted on Twitter.
Seeking to put right the "widespread misrepresentations" he had been hearing Tharoor put out a series of eight tweets in which he pointed out that the universal appeal of Ram and Sanatan Dharma cannot be commandeered by those who chant either hymns or slogans.
"He belongs to all humanity. For Hindutva, Ram is a God to be worshipped; for Gandhiji Ram represented ideal qualities that every person should practise &seek to emulate," the Congress MP said.
Tharoor clarified that the Congress Party was never opposed to the construction of a Ram temple in Ayodhya, but to "the criminal demolition of the Babri Masjid. In 1989, Rajiv Gandhiji allowed VHP to do shilanyas on non-disputed land nearby as an alternate site" he said.
"At the same time it was NOT Rajiv Gandhi who ordered opening of the locks at the masjid, but the district judge of Faizabad who ordered the locks to be opened in 1986," Tharoor said giving an official link of Supreme Court document to substantiate his point.
"Whatever you feel about today's events, the Masjid's demolition is a blot on our conscience. As @RahulGandhi said in 2007, "My father said to my mother that he would stand in front of Babri Masjid. They would have had to kill him first", Tharoor added.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Wednesday performed Bhoomi Pujan at 'Shree Ram Janmabhoomi Mandir' in Ayodhya. Before the Bhoomi Pujan, he performed 'pooja' at Hanumangarhi and Shri Ramlala Virajman.
He unveiled a plaque to mark the laying of the foundation stone and also released Commemorative Postage Stamp on 'Shree Ram Janmabhoomi Mandir'.