When Ajit Pawar's son Parth opened a letter with 'Jai Shri Ram' to address Ram temple bhoomi puja in Ayodhya

The ruling Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) found itself fumbling for words to explain a letter written by Deputy Chief Minister Ajit Pawar’s son Parth, which opened with the salutation Jai Shri Ram and termed August 5, the day bhoomi poojan was conducted at Ayodhya, as a 'historic day'. The NCP tried to downplay Parth’s letter, saying it was his personal view and there were no intra-party differences.

Parth's letter further went on to say, the day would be etched in history as a civilisational awakening for Bharat. ‘’However, we need to steadfastly safeguard the secular fabric of our nation. We need to be gracious in this cultural victory,’’ said Parth in his letter shared on Twitter.

Speaking to The Free Press Journal, Parth stoutly defended his letter saying, "These are my views. This is a democratic country and everyone has the freedom to air their views.’’

His aunt, the NCP MP Supriya Sule, shared a similar view. ‘‘It is Parth’s personal view. In a democracy, everyone has a right to express their views. Are we so inured to oppression that we have forgotten freedom of expression?’’ she asked.

Party spokesperson and Minister of Minority Affairs Nawab Malik also clarified that there were no differences within the party over Parth’s letter.

In the letter, Parth further wrote: ‘‘The fight was bitter and long. And finally, we, as a generation, have arrived at a historic day when we will witness the re-installation of the Hindu faith,’’ he said. He further noted, ‘‘There is also a larger lesson that in our victory, we should be humble. However flawed or weak or irrational the arguments, there was a sentiment attached to Babri Masjid. Let’s respect those who lost. Their arguments and claims have anyway been thoroughly defeated. Let’s move a bit forward and include those who feel they have lost in our victory.’’

Grandnephew of NCP chief Sharad Pawar, Parth had lost the Lok Sabha election from the Maval Lok Sabha seat last year. In recent times, he also hogged the headlines for writing a letter to Home Minister Anil Deshmukh, demanding a CBI inquiry into Bollywood actor Sushant Singh Rajput's death.

Parth’s latest missive comes days after his grand-uncle Sharad Pawar had criticised the Modi government on the timing of the ground-breaking ceremony for the Ram temple when the country was in the grip of the pandemic.

Sharad Pawar had taken a jibe at Modi saying, ‘‘India’s economy is in trouble but 'some' people are more interested in constructing Ram mandir. If coronavirus will go away by constructing the Ram mandir, they are welcome.’’ He however, had clarified that the NCP was not opposed to the construction of Ram temple, as the Supreme Court had already delivered judgment in this regard.

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