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Ram temple issue takes centre stage on last day of budget session of Parliament

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New Delhi, Feb 10 (PTI) The Ram temple construction took centre stage on the last day of Parliament's budget session Saturday with both houses holding a discussion on its consecration ceremony and Prime Minister Narendra Modi saying adoption of a laudatory resolution on it will give constitutional strength to the future generations to feel proud of the country's values.

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Several members in both Lok Sabha and Rajya participated in the discussion that lasted a few hours. The CPI-M staged a walk-out from Rajya Sabha.

Modi noted in Lok Sabha that the discussion on the Ram temple was important for the next generation.

In a swipe at the opposition which has constantly targeted the BJP over the temple issue, he said, "This is true that not everyone has the capacity for these things. Some people are brave to face it while others run away from the battlefield. But for the future record, the speeches that were made today have sensitivity, resolve and sympathy... It also takes forward the mantra of 'sabka saath, sabka vikas'." "The country has moved towards big changes at a fast pace and all members of the House made an important contribution. Such works were completed for which people had waited for centuries," he said.

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The Lok Sabha also passed a resolution on "the construction of historic Shri Ram Temple and Pran Pratishtha of Shri Ram Lalla" after a nearly four-hour discussion, describing its construction as a historic achievement.

Lok Sabha Speaker Om Birla moved the resolution and said it will give the values of hope and unity to future generations.

He said after centuries of wait, the Ram temple has ushered in a new era of good governance and public welfare. The speaker noted that the temple is symbolic of the spirit of "Ek Bharat, Shreshtha Bharat".

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He said through this resolution, the members of the House appreciate the historic work accomplished in Ayodhya.

Speaking in Lok Sabha, Home Minister Amit Shah asserted that Modi took all sections of the society along on the Ram temple issue and described the Supreme Court verdict on the matter as a reflection of India's secular character to the world.

He said in no other country has the majority community waited for so long for a matter related to its faith.

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He said the Supreme Court verdict on the Ram temple showed India's secular character to the world.

In an apparent swipe at some opposition members, Shah said those who imagine India without Lord Ram do not know India, adding our culture cannot be separated from Ramayana.

"The date of January 22 marks the beginning of the journey of great India. This day paves the way for Maa Bharti (mother India) to take us on the path of becoming Vishwaguru (world leader)," Shah said, adding that the Ram mandir is a sign of cultural rejuvenation.

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Birla recalled that ahead of the January 22 consecration ceremony at the temple, the prime minister visited various religious sites and gave a message of national unity.

In his valedictory address, Birla said, "The 17th Lok Sabha passed 222 bills. During this period 202 bills were introduced and 11 bills were withdrawn by the government." He said the 17th Lok Sabha had a total of 274 sittings which lasted for 1,354 hours, 345 hours more than the scheduled time.

"A total of 387 hours were lost due to disruptions in this Lok Sabha. The total work productivity of the 17th Lok Sabha has been around 97 per cent which is the highest among the last five Lok Sabhas," Birla said as he adjourned the house sine die.

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Speaking in Rajya Sabha, BJP chief J P Nadda said his party never tried to take any political advantage of the Ram temple though it had the commitment and conviction to complete it.

"This is an issue for the entire nation. We never attempted to get some score from this. We never attempted to take any political advantage from this," he said, adding that this was done for keeping in the dignity of the nation.

On temple issue, Leader of the House Piyush Goyal said the Ram Janmabhoomi movement brought the entire nation together and unified it, as he described January 22, 2024 as a "historic" day when the prime minister ended the second exile of Lord Ram, with construction of the temple.

Speaking on the discussion, Rajya Sabha Chairman Jagdeep Dhankhar hailed the inauguration day as a day of "national festival" and called the temple a symbol of "Ek Bharat, Shreshtha Bharat".

While adjourning the house, he said during the short but important session, the House sat for nine days and the overall productivity during the Session stood at an impressive figure of 137 per cent.

In addition to the discussion on the Motion of Thanks to the President's Address and interim Union Budget, this House also passed seven bills, he said, adding that the House also bade farewell to 68 members.

Earlier, the upper house also concluded the discussion on the white paper on economy. Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman accused the UPA government of mismanaging the price situation after taking charge from the Vajpayee government in 2004.

"Through their ill-targeted, reckless fiscal policy, ill-targeted subsidies and wasteful expenditure, all done for political gains, inflation went high during the UPA rule," she said while replying to the discussion. PTI TEAM SKC ZMN

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