Updated: February 3, 2021 7:27:56 am
The student wing of the Congress party, the National Students’ Union of India (NSUI), Tuesday flagged off a campaign in Rajasthan to collect donations for the Ram temple at Ayodhya.
As part of the 15-day campaign titled ‘Re 1 Ram Ke Naam’, NSUI office-bearers said the token amount will be collected from students across school, college and university campuses throughout the state.
“People from organisations affiliated to the BJP and RSS are putting pressure on the public to collect money in the name of Lord Ram. Because of them, there is loot raging on in this country. We have organised this campaign to send this message that god doesn’t need money but needs devotion. If you donate Re 1 out of devotion, that is as important as if someone donates Rs 1 crore,” NSUI Rajasthan president Abhishek Choudhary told The Indian Express.
About allegations levelled at the Congress of soft Hindutva, Choudhary said the NSUI campaign was a message to “communal forces”. “We don’t need to take help of any religion in politics. The Congress is a party that functions according to the Constitution and India is a secular country. Our campaign is a message to those communal forces who are trying to break the country in the name of the Ram temple,” he said.
Rajasthan NSUI spokesperson Ramesh Bhati said the amount collected will be donated to the Ram temple trust at the end of the campaign. “Contrary to the BJP propaganda, our campaign aims to give the message that Lord Ram is not only for the Hindus or any specific community, Lord Ram is as much for the Muslim, Sikh and Christian communities. Lord Ram is for everyone and belief for him is equal in all religions,” said Bhati.
Asked about the NSUI campaign, Rajasthan Congress president Govind Singh Dotasra said, “I will check and find out.”
The BJP accused the Congress of politicising the issue. “The Congress is trying to see the issue through a political lens, which is not needed. The donation money is not being collected by the BJP but voluntarily donated by people to the Ram Janmabhoomi Teerth Kshetra Trust,” Rajasthan BJP president Satish Poonia said.
He also accused the Congress of doing appeasement politics, and of opposing the Ram temple and Article 370 “because it regarded minorities as a vote bank”.
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