New Delhi: In a move mirroring the Left parties, West Bengal Chief Minister and Trinamool Congress chief Mamata Banerjee is not likely to attend the consecration ceremony of the Ram Temple in Ayodhya, slated for January 22, according to sources quoted by news agency PTI. While the exact motive behind her decision remains shrouded in ambiguity, insiders speculate that Banerjee views the event as a political spectacle camouflaged in religious attire. The reluctance to participate stems from her belief that the ceremony might be exploited for political gains.
West Bengal CM Mamata Banerjee not to attend the inauguration of Ram Mandir in Ayodhya: Sources pic.twitter.com/5RnmAPoc7p
— Press Trust of India (@PTI_News) December 27, 2023
Left Parties To Skip Ram Temple Event
This development follows the footsteps of Communist Party of India (Marxist) general secretary Sitaram Yechury’s declaration that he will not partake in the event, criticizing the BJP-led Centre for transforming the ceremony into a “state-sponsored” affair. Earlier, CPI(M) leader Brinda Karat also declared the party’s boycott of the event.
Banerjee’s Delicate Balancing Act
Political analysts suggest that Banerjee is apprehensive about aligning herself with the BJP’s political narrative. With the saffron party aiming to capitalize on the event for its 2024 Lok Sabha campaign, Banerjee seems keen on avoiding any association that might be construed as political endorsement.
Govt Vs Opposition Over Ram Temple Event
The consecration ceremony, scheduled for January 22, is expected to witness the presence of Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath. However, the growing dissent is not limited to Banerjee, as reports indicate that key Congress figures, including Mallikarjun Kharge, Sonia Gandhi, and Adhir Ranjan Chowdhary, may also decide to skip the event.
‘BJP Politicising Ram Temple Event’
The opposition, led by figures like Sitaram Yechury and Rajya Sabha MP Kapil Sibal, has strongly criticized the ceremony. Yechury stated, “This inauguration ceremony has been converted into a state-sponsored event, not in consonance with the Constitution.” Meanwhile, Sibal labeled the entire affair as a “show-off,” accusing the BJP of deviating from the virtues associated with Lord Ram.
In the face of mounting dissent, the event raises questions about the intersection of religion and politics on the national stage, setting the stage for a contentious beginning to 2023.