Ram Mandir row: Congress distances itself from Sam Pitroda’s remarks, says ’he doesn’t speak for party’

  • Sam Pitroda has raised a question, amid the preparations for the consecration of the Ram Temple in Ayodhya, and said, 'Is Ram Mandir the real issue or unemployment and inflation?'

Livemint
First Published29 Dec 2023
Congress leader Jairam Ramesh during a press conference at AICC Headquarters, in New Delhi, Wednesday, Dec. 27, 2023. (PTI Photo/Kamal Kishore)
Congress leader Jairam Ramesh during a press conference at AICC Headquarters, in New Delhi, Wednesday, Dec. 27, 2023. (PTI Photo/Kamal Kishore)(PTI)

Days after senior leader Sam Pitroda questioned the significance of the Ram Temple construction in Ayodhya, Congress on 29 December distanced itself from him saying he does not reflect the party's stance on the issue.

Congress communications in-charge Jairam Ramesh, in a statement, said that Pitroda's views were "his own" and did not represent the party's official position.

"He is not giving the Congress view, it's his view," Ramesh stated, adding that "Pitroda doesn't speak for the Congress party".

Earlier on Friday, Vishwa Hindu Parishad president Alok Kumar hit out at senior Congress leader Sam Pitroda over his remark on Ram Temple, saying his comments confirmed that "Congress maintains a distance with Lord Ram."

"The statement of Sam Pitroda that he is bothered about the celebrations across the country over Ram Temple in Ayodhya, I am surprised by it. Such programmes are done by the whole community. We're not accepting the government's money for it and they are not making any arrangements. The devoted persons are holding such programmes. This is a confirmation that Congress maintains a distance with Lord Ram," VHP president Alok Kumar told ANI.

ALSO READ: Rajeev Chandrasekhar slams Sam Pitroda over Ram Mandir remark, says it represents Rahul Gandhi's thinking

What Pitroda had said?

Speaking to ANI, Sam Pitroda has raised a question, amid the preparations for the consecration of the Ram Temple in Ayodhya, and said, "Is Ram Mandir the real issue or unemployment and inflation?"

"I have no problem with any religion. It is okay to go visit the temple once in a while, but you can't make that the main platform. 40 percent of the people vote for BJP, and 60 percent of the people do not vote for BJP. He is everybody's Prime Minister and not a party's Prime Minister and that's the message the people of India want him to have. Talk about employment, talk about inflation, talk about science and technology, and challenges. They (people) have to decide what are the real issues- is Ram Mandir the real issue? Or unemployment is a real issue. Is Ram Mandir the real issue or Inflation is a real issue?" he told ANI.

"Practise your religion but keep religion separate from politics," he added.

Rajeev Chandrasekhar's reaction:

Reacting to Pitroda's comment, Union Minister and BJP MP Rajeev Chandrasekhar said it reflects the mindset of the Congress and Rahul Gandhi.

"Sam Pitroda is the prime example of how far removed Rahul's Congress is from the psyche of India. During UPA, Sam was a very powerful man and he was leading the prime minister's innovation council... the 2G scam happened then, and he was silent about that. On inflation and other economic issues, he had said 'what if there is some inflation'," Hindustan Times quoted Chandrasekhar as saying.

The consecration ceremony of the Ram Temple in Ayodhya is scheduled to take place on January 22, and several BJP stalwarts including Prime Minister Narendra Modi will attend the event.

With agency inputs.

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