Ram temple politics: Kamal Nath to hold Hanuman Chalisa recitation on Aug 4

Appeals to all Congress workers to do so too; BJP dubs it poll-related action

Kamal-Nath-PTI File photo of Kamal Nath | PTI

Ahead of the Ram temple bhoomi pujan in Ayodhya on August 5, the politics related to the temple have begun with Congress showing signs of support for the temple's construction and the BJP calling it poll-related action and double standards.

A day after he welcomed the Ram temple construction in a social media message, ex-chief minister and MP Congress Committee chief Kamal Nath has announced that he will conduct a Hanuman Chalisa recitation at his home in Bhopal on August 4, a day ahead of the bhoomi pujan in Ayodhya. 

Not only this, but he has also called upon all Congress workers and leaders in the state to hold similar recitation at their homes or at nearby temples at the same time. Though Nath and Congress have not openly linked this initiative to the Ram Temple construction, the link becomes apparent due to its timing.

Nath’s media coordinator Narendra Saluja told THE WEEK that the Hanuman Chalisa recitation will be held at the ex-chief minister’s home from 11 am to 12 noon on August 4. “He has appealed to all Congress members to hold similar recitation at home or at nearby temples while maintaining the COVID-19 protocol to the fullest. The objective is to wish for peace and progress of Madhya Pradesh and also getting rid of the COVID-19 pandemic,” Saluja said.

It might be mentioned that the Bhopal Member of Parliament, Pragya Thakur, had also last week appealed for the mass recitation of Hanuman Chalisa every evening till August 5 to ward off COVID-19.

Kamal Nath’s initiative and appeal comes a day after he released a video message on social media welcoming the construction of Ram temple. In the message, which has since been criticized by many BJP leaders as well as by AIMIM chief Asaduddin Owaisi, Nath had said “People of the country were expectant and eager for this [temple construction]. The Ram temple is being constructed with consent of all Indians and this is possible only in India.”

On Saturday, Congress Rajya Sabha member Digvijaya Singh also tweeted to say "Lord Ram is at centre of our faith. In any case, the country is currently running Ram bharose (dependent on Lord Ram) and therefore it is a desire of every one of us that a grand temple is constructed at Ram janmabhoomi at Ayodhya and Ram Lala should be established there. Late Rajiv Gandhi also wanted this.’

Singh, however, added that he stood by his conviction that there is no muhurt (auspicious timing) for the foundation stone laying on August 5 and the event plays with the religious beliefs of the people. He also said in his tweet that more than 90 per cent of Hindus believe in astrology, planetary aspects, muhurt and other religious sciences.

The BJP attacked Nath, Singh and the Congress on the issue. Party spokesman Rajneesh Agrawal said that the Congress always engaged in diversionary and delaying tactics on the Ram temple issue.

“Now that the by-elections are looming, they are playing this game. Else, Kamal Nath himself termed the temple issue as a political stunt few months ago and everyone knows how Digvijaya Singh has been raising doubts and confusions over all aspects of the temple including the muhurt for bhoomipujan. People understand such political tactics,” he said.