"Because Of Vote Bank": PM Modi On Congress Skipping Ayodhya Ram Temple Event

Prime Minister Narendra Modi said that the Congress and its allies had used the Ram Mandir issue as a political weapon.

PM Modi slammed Congress for rejecting the invitation to the Pran Partishtha ceremony

New Delhi:

Prime Minister Narendra Modi questioned the Congress for its refusal of the invitation to attend the Pran Pratishtha ceremony of the Ram Janambhoomi Mandir in Ayodhya.

Speaking in an interview with the news agency ANI, Prime Minister Modi said that the Congress and its allies had used the Ram Mandir issue as a political weapon.

"When we were not even born, when our party was not even born. At that time, this matter could have been dealt with in the court. There could have been a solution to the problem. When India was divided, then during the time of partition, they could have decided to do so and so. That was not done. Why? Because this is like a weapon in their hands, a weapon for vote bank politics," the Prime Minister said

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"Even, when the case was going on in the court, they tried to delay the judgment of the court. Why? Because for them, it was a political weapon. They kept saying Ram Mandir will be built, they will kill you. It was a way to appease a vote bank. Now what happened? Ram Mandir was built, no untoward incidents happened and that issue has gone out of their hands," the PM said.

"Secondly, their nature. Look at the incidents from Somnath Mandir till now. What was the problem with Somnath Mandir? Dr. Rajendra Babu wanted to go. There was no Jan-Sangh, no BJP. But they refused to let him go," the PM further said

The Prime Minister criticised the Congress for rejecting the invitation to the Pran Partishtha ceremony.

"You should be proud that the people who have built the Ram Mandir, those who have also struggled for it, they forget all your sins. They come to your house and invite you. And they want to start anew. You also reject them. Then it seems that for you, the vote bank has made you helpless. And because of that vote bank, things like this keep happening. And this... showing someone down, insulting someone, this is their nature.

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"Now if I go to the North East, if people there ask me to wear their clothes, I wear them. Making fun of that too. If I go to Tamil Nadu, wear a lungi, you feel, look, he is doing this, he is doing that. I am surprised, there is so much hatred" the PM said.

The PM also recalled his own spiritual journey when he had accepted to attend the Pran Pratishtha ceremony.

"When the Trust came to me with the invitation of the Ram Mandir Pran Pratishtha, I started thinking that I am being given such a big responsibility, how do I make myself worthy? So I took advice from some saints and some people connected to my spiritual life. I don't take this action as a Prime Minister. I want to do it as a devotee of Lord Ram. What can I do? I got a lot of suggestions from them. But then I also did some research. And I decided that I will do an Anushthaan for 11 days. And I used to sleep on the ground. I used to live on coconut water. And I decided that wherever Lord Ram had gone, wherever I could go, I would try to go there," the PM said.

"I went to Srirangam Temple in South India. And I studied Kamba Ramayana there. Then the people there told me, Sir, 800 years ago, when Kamba Ramayana was created, the first recitation took place at this very place. And I saw that everyone had tears in their eyes. This experience that I have had, especially in the South, the people sitting here will not be able to understand. What kind of devotion is this? What kind of faith is this? And how much piousness is there in it? My trip was a personal one. But people supported me. I see this as a very important 11-days in my spiritual journey, the PM added.

PM Modi also recalled the struggle that was behind the construction of the Ram Janambhoomi Mandir.

"I used to see the 500 years of struggle. I used to see the faith of 140 crore people and their dreams. And the poor people of the country. They have built temples by giving money. This temple. I see three things. One, 500 years, second, use of technology, its excavation, evidence, this is a very big thing. And third, millions and millions of people in India have given whatever they can give, they have built this temple. This temple has not been built because of the government. These are such aspects, that the pride of India, the strength of India, the dreams of India, the determination of India and will inspire the future generation of India," the PM said.

(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)