Nirmala Sitharaman alleges police misuse in TN; Governor Ravi claims ''repression''

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Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman (File image)

Chennai: Tamil Nadu Governor RN Ravi on Monday alleged that priests and staff of a Shri Ram temple here, under the control of the state government, faced 'repression' while the entire country celebrated the 'Pran Pratishtha' of Ram Lalla in Ayodhya.


Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman speaking to reporters in Kancheepuram alleged that the Tamil Nadu police 'is being misused' by the 'Hindu hating' DMK regime to thwart public screening of the Ayodhya ceremony and celebrations to mark the event. The DMK 'is clearly showing its personal hatred' for the Prime Minister and 'suppressing worshippers,' she alleged Against the background of the BJP alleging a 'ban' by the DMK regime for celebrations and public screening to mark the consecration, Ravi, underscored his visit to a temple here and seemingly backed the Saffron party's accusation.

The Governor said on X: "This morning I visited Sri Kodandaramaswami Temple, West Mambalam, Chennai, and offered prayers to Prabhu Sri Ram for the well-being of all. This temple is under the HR & CE Dept. (Hindu Religious and Charitable Endowments Department of the state government)." He alleged: "There was an all-pervasive sense of invisible fear and apprehensions writ large on the faces of priests and temple staff. A stark contrast to the festive environment in the rest of the country. While the entire country is celebrating the Pran Pratishtha of Ram Lalla, the temple premises here exude a sense of acute repression." The TN government has dismissed the BJP's allegation that permission is denied by the HR and CE Department to hold celebrations in temples to mark the Ayodhya ceremony.

Sitharaman asked: "Can any citizen be denied watching the honourable Prime Minister?" "What right does the DMK have to infringe on my right to worship? I challenge the DMK government; that it is infringing on my right to worship as a Hindu; it is infringing on my right to watch (the Ayodhya ceremony)..."