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Updated January 16th, 2024 at 18:47 IST

CONTROVERSIAL: Sharad Pawar Claims 'Shilanyas of Ram Mandir Took Place During Rajiv Gandhi's Tenure'

The veteran leader was speaking at a public meeting at Nipani in Karnataka.

Moumita Mukherjee
Sharad Pawar
Sharad Pawar | Image:PTI/File
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Mumbai: Controversy erupted on Tuesday as Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) chief Sharad Pawar made assertions regarding the Shilanyas of the Ram Mandir, just days before the scheduled consecration ceremony on January 22 in Ayodhya. Addressing a public meeting in Nipani, Karnataka, Pawar accused the BJP and RSS of exploiting the Ram Mandir inauguration for political gains and informed that the Shilanyas took place during Rajiv Gandhi's tenure as Prime Minister.

"The Shilanyas (laying of the first stone) was conducted during Rajiv Gandhi's tenure, but today the BJP and RSS are doing politics in the name of Lord Ram," Pawar remarked, sparking discussions on the historical context of the temple's foundation.

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Commenting on Prime Minister Narendra Modi's decision to observe an 11-day fast leading up to the consecration ceremony, Pawar expressed his respect for PM Modi's faith in Lord Ram. However, he suggested an alternative focus for the fast, stating, "I respect his faith in Ram, but had he decided to observe a fast to eliminate poverty, people would have appreciated it." Pawar's remarks added a layer of critique to the preparations surrounding the Ram Mandir ceremony, bringing attention to both historical events and the political dimensions of the impending consecration.

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Published January 16th, 2024 at 18:47 IST

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