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Ram Temple ceremony: Ayodhya echoes in some non-BJP states

Mamata Banerjee tweeted, "Hindu Muslim Sikh Isaai, Aapas mein hain Bhai Bhai! Mera Bharat Mahaan, Mahaan Hamara Hindustan. Our country has always upheld the legacy of unity in diversity, and we must preserve this to our last breath!"

By: Express News Service | New Delhi | August 6, 2020 1:58:30 am
Fireworks light up the night sky, in Jodhpur. (PTI)

West Bengal

Kolkata: Lok Sabha MP and West Bengal BJP chief Dilip Ghosh organised a bhoomi poojan at his home in New Town, Kolkata, and blew conch shells to celebrate the occasion, while Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee called for preserving brotherhood between communities. Banerjee tweeted, “Hindu Muslim Sikh Isaai, Aapas mein hain Bhai Bhai! Mera Bharat Mahaan, Mahaan Hamara Hindustan. Our country has always upheld the legacy of unity in diversity, and we must preserve this to our last breath!”

Ghosh said: “We offered puja by maintaining social distancing norms. At (some) places, however, the police prevented our workers from offering pujas in temples, including in Kharagpur. With this tactics the TMC cannot stop people from worshiping Lord Ram.”

TMC MP Sougata Roy said, “Lord Ram belongs to all. The BJP is trying to show that Ram belongs to them. This is not right. This occasion of bhoomi pujan definitely calls for celebration, but in the backdrop of the present (coronavirus) crisis, people need to be cautious and take precautions.” The state government had imposed a complete lockdown across the state on Wednesday as part of measures to contain the virus.

MAHARASHTRA

Mumbai: There were sporadic celebrations in the state, and leaders from Shiv Sena, NCP and th Congress — partners in the ruling alliance — wished the people on the bhumi pujan of Ram temple. Sena leader and state minister Aaditya Thackeray tweeted, “This is the day of fulfillment of the dream of Hindu Hriday Samrat Shiv Sena chief Balasaheb Thackeray. It is a very happy moment for all of us.”

A group of Shiv Sainiks led by Mira Bhayander Municipal Corporation corporator Vikram Pratap Singh reached Ayodhya on Tuesday, and to mark the bhumi pujan, to which they were not inivited, immersed soil from Bal Thackeray’s Smriti Sthal in Mumbai in the Sarayu at Ayodhya. The group is learnt to have had an unofficial go-ahead from the party leadership. Sena, a former BJP ally, did not mark the occasion in any other way.

NCP’s Jayant Patil tweeted, “The bhumi pujan is a moment of happiness for all of us. Lord Ram will always be the deity of Indians.” He shared photos of the Ram temple built in his constituency – Islampur in Sangli district – and said he always worships there.

Senior Congress leader and PWD minister Ashok Chavan tweeted, “It is a matter of great joy that the bhumi pujan…was held in Ayodhya due to the decision of the Supreme Court. Best wishes to all.”

Celebrations at the BJP office in Chennai. (PTI)

RAJASTHAN

Jaipur: In some cities, including the state capital, people celebrated by bursting crackers in evening. Leading the celebrations at the state BJP office, party’s state unit president Satish Poonia said that he got the “opportunity for kar seva both times, where my companions were martyred.”

Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot emphasised the “need to focus on establishing an egalitarian society based on the values espoused by Lord Ram. May Lord Ram’s temple become a symbol of unity and brotherhood in our country.” Former deputy CM Sachin Pilot extended his heartfelt greetings to the entire country and its people “on the occasion of Bhumi Pujan and foundation stone laying…. Jai Shree Ram!”

State Transport Minister Pratap Singh Khachariyawas organised prayers at his residence and announced he will donate two months’ salary and a silver brick to the temple when he visits the site after the Assembly session.

CHHATTISGARH

Raipur: Leaders and workers of both ruling Congress and opposition BJP in Chhattisgarh celebrated the bhoomi pujan. NSUI workers and Congress MLA Vikas Upadhyay distributed clay lamps door to door to be lit for the event. State NSUI leader Akash Sharma said, “We want this day to be remembered by making it into a celebration.”

The Ram temple in the state capital, built under the previous BJP government, was lit up with 9,000 lamps, the temple priest said. Several BJP leaders, including former CM Raman Singh, visited the temple for a puja.

PUNJAB

Chandigarh: Political leaders across party lines congratulated people, with temples across the state decorated and diyas lit in the evening. CM Amarinder Singh tweeted, “My heartiest congratulations to the people of India on the historic foundation laying of #Ram Mandir in Ayodhya, which fulfils the long cherished desire of every Indian…”.

Main opposition AAP’s Sunam MLA Aman Arora posted a video of Ram Mandir’s upcoming structure and wrote, “I congratulate all followers of Bhagwan Ram…” BJP leaders and workers celebrated in almost every district.

ODISHA

Bhubaneswar: BJP members organised a small, in-house prayer meeting to celebrate the foundation-laying of the Ram temple in Ayodhya, while the Biju Janata Dal (BJD)-led state government devoted the day for Covid warriors by organising a statewide silence of two minutes at 6 pm. On the bhoomi pujan, no top Odisha leader made any statements and said that the was “clear after the Supreme Court order”.

BJD spokesperson Lenin Mohanty said, “…Lord Ram is a symbol of belief and trust and this is a matter of religious faith, in which a decision was taken by the apex court. We decided to devote the day to Covid warriors.”

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