Delhi, 11th January 2024: In a reminiscent move echoing the historical decision made by former Prime Minister Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru, the Congress party opted to stay away from the consecration ceremony of the Ram Mandir. Similar to Nehru’s refusal to attend the inauguration of the Somnath Temple in 1951, Congress leaders Sonia Gandhi and Mallikarjun Kharge chose not to participate in the Ram temple’s inauguration ceremony.
Seven decades ago, on May 11, 1951, Nehru’s refusal to attend the Somnath Temple inauguration in Gujarat stirred controversy. The then-President Dr Rajendra Prasad had attended, leading to objections from Nehru. The public supported Nehru’s stance, and he leveraged it in subsequent elections. Congress’s recent decision to skip the Ram Mandir Pran Pratishtha ceremony mirrors Nehru’s historical move.
Pandit Nehru’s decision to avoid the Somnath temple inauguration had electoral consequences that favored him. Drawing parallels, Congress has taken a similar stand today, although the political landscape has evolved since Nehru’s time.
The party’s decision has faced internal dissent, with several leaders, including Gujarat Congress leader Ambarish Der, Congress MLA Arjun Modhwadia, and Acharya Pramod Krishna, expressing their disagreement. Notably, Vikramaditya Singh, son of former Himachal CM Virbhadra Singh and a current state minister, affirmed his attendance at the Ram Mandir Pran Pratishtha ceremony, thanking the VHP and RSS.
Congress MP Nakul Nath, son of former MP CM Kamal Nath, also indicated support for the Ram Mandir ceremony, indicating growing dissent within the party against the official decision.
Assam Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma opined that Congress should not have been invited at all, viewing it as an opportunity for the party to rectify some of its perceived missteps. Union Minister Prahlad Joshi highlighted the consistent stance of the Congress party opposing Hindu beliefs for appeasement, referencing Nehru’s opposition during the reconstruction of the Somnath Temple.
As Congress grapples with internal dissent and external critique, the party’s decision not to participate in the Ram Mandir Pran Pratishtha ceremony unfolds as a strategic move with historical echoes.