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Boycott by Congress making Ram temple consecration political event, claims Himanta

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Guwahati, Jan 16 (PTI) Assam Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma on Tuesday claimed that it was the Congress that turned the consecration ceremony of the Ram Temple in Ayodhya a political event by boycotting it.

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Sarma who heads a BJP-led government in the state said everybody else is viewing the programme to be the 'triumph of Indian civilisation'.

His statement came hours after Rahul Gandhi said in Nagaland that it is difficult for his party’s leaders to attend the January 22 ceremony as the BJP and the RSS have turned it into a "political event" centred around Prime Minister Narendra Modi who will attend the programme.

"If Rahul Gandhi would have gone there, it would not have got any political flavour. We allow you to attend it so that it remains an apolitical function. But you and your close associates have boycotted it, thereby making it a political function which it was not," Sarma told a press conference.

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Congress president Mallikarjun Kharge, and its other top leaders 'respectfully declined' invitation to attend the consecration ceremony at Ayodhya, with the party accusing the BJP of making it into a 'political project' for electoral gains and asserting that religion is a 'personal matter'.

"Rahul and Sonia Gandhi, because of their anti-Hindu notion, are making it political. Only the Congress party is politicising an event which is otherwise being viewed as a triumph of Indian civilisation," Sarma asserted.

The BJP and the RSS are giving an “election flavour” to the programme and that is why it is difficult for Congress to attend it, Rahul Gandhi said at Chiephobozou in Nagaland during Bharati Jodo Nyay Yatra earlier in the day.

"Everyone will go, have darshan of Ram Lalla and return. I don't think anybody will give any political speech or anti-Congress speech. For other people, it is a triumph of Indian civilisation," Sarma added. PTI SSG NN

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