Communist Party of India (Marxist) General Secretary Sitaram Yechury declined the invitation to attend the January 22 consecration ceremony at the Ram temple in Ayodhya, built on the site where the Babri Masjid was demolished by a Hindutva mob in 1992.
Yechury becomes the only political party chief to have done so until now. The Shri Ram Janmabhoomi Teerth Kshetra Trust has extended invitations to former prime ministers and leaders of prominent political parties for the event. Following the receipt of the invite last week, the Congress suggested it would dispatch representatives, and a majority of other political parties have expressed their intention to send their leaderships if invited to the ceremony.
“The CPI(M) General Secretary Comrade Sitaram Yechury has received an invitation to attend the inauguration of the Ram temple in Ayodhya. The CPI(M) policy has been to respect religious beliefs and safeguarding the right of every individual to pursue their belief. It believes that religion is a personal choice not to be converted into an instrument for political gain. Therefore, we will not be attending the ceremony,” read the statement of the Polit Bureau of the Communist Party of India (Marxist).
It added: “It is most unfortunate that the BJP and RSS have converted a religious ceremony into a State sponsored event directly involving the Prime Minister, the UP Chief Minister and other government functionaries. A fundamental principle of governance in India as reiterated by the Supreme Court is that the State in India, under the constitution should have no religious affiliation. This is being violated by the ruling regime in the organisation of the event.”