Ram Mandir inauguration: Congress leader Sam Pitroda says ‘don’t mix religion with politics’; BJP accuses grand old party of appeasement politics – Times of India

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NEW DELHI: Congress leader Sam Pitroda‘s remarks questioning the hype around Ram Mandir‘s consecration ceremony has evoked very strong reactions from the BJP which has accused the grand old party of “playing the game of appeasement politics.”
Pitroda, who is the chairman of Indian Overseas Congress, had said ” I have no problem with any religion. I am only saying that don’t mix religion with politics. Pandit Nehru, Lal bahadur Sashtri did not use religion for politics. It is okay to visit temple once in a while, but you can’t make that the main platform. 40 per cent of the people vote for the BJP, 60 per cent of the people do not vote for the BJP. He is everybody’s Prime Minister & not BJP’s Prime Minister and that’s the message people of India want the Prime Minister to give.”
“The people of India will 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 is inflation a real issue. Is Ram Mandir the real issue or is the air pollution in Delhi the real issue?” the Congress leader added.
Reacting to his remarks, BJP leader and Union minister Rajeev Chandrashekhar said “Sam Pitroda is a very good example of how far moved Congress is from the psyche of India, from the soul of India.”
“This is a matter of great pride and faith for thousands and millions of Hindus all over India and they are playing the game of appeasement politics,” he added.
Union minister Meenakshi Lekhi said “People like Sam Pitroda who have lived outside the country, know very little about this country.”
Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP) president Alok Kumar also slammed Sam Pitroda for objecting to the community celebrations and accused the Congress of trying to consolidate its minority votebank.
“I am surprised at the statement of Sam Pitroda that he is bothered about the celebrations across the country over Ram Temple in Ayodhya. The programme is being organised by the whole community. We’re not accepting govt’s money for it and govt is not making any arrangements. The devotees are organising programmes across the country to celebrate the event. The remarks are a confirmation that the Congress maintains a distance with Lord Ram.”
Pitroda also attacked the Prime Minister for not addressing a press conference during the last 10 years.
“We want the Prime Minister to address the press and talk about employment, talk about inflation, talk about science and technology and challenges. It is ok to be vulnerable, you don’t need to be a macho man everywhere. It is ok for you to give credit to others also. Don’t be nasty. It dosen’t suit the Prime Minister of a country of 1.4 billion people to talk down on opposition every day,” the Congress leader said.


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