Past govts shut eyes to places of worship, says PM

Prime Minister Narendra Modi took an oblique swipe at the Congress on Sunday for skipping the Ayodhya Ram Mandir pran pratishtha ceremony.

The remarks came weeks after key Opposition leaders declined invites from the Ram Janmabhoomi Temple Trust.

A statue of Ram Lalla was enthroned in the sanctum-sanctorum newly constructed temple on January 22 as thousands watched.

“Unfortunately, those in power for a long time after Independence did not understand the importance of our holy sites. They made a trend out of the practice of being ashamed of one’s own culture and past for political gains,” Modi said.

Senior Congress leaders — Mallikarjun Kharge, Sonia Gandhi and Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury — had refused to attend the grand event in Ayodhya last month. The party insisted that “religion was a personal matter” and accused the BJP of inaugurating an “incomplete” temple for electoral gain.

The snub had prompted outrage from several quarters with the BJP accusing the Opposition of of insulting the country’s Sanatan culture.