Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal said today he will not attend the grand ‘Pran Pratishtha’ ceremony of the Ram temple on January 22 since he has not received an invitation. He will visit Ayodhya with his wife, children and parents after the grand ceremony is over, he said.
This is the first time he has revealed his plans for the consecration ceremony set to be attended by Prime Minister Narendra Modi and top leaders from across the country. Many of his allies have already turned down invitation for the event.
Mr Kejriwal had last week received a letter urging him to block his dates for the event as a formal invitation was on its way. “I was asked to keep my schedule free on 22nd, but no invitation has come yet. The letter mentioned that only one person has to come in view of security and VIP movement,” he said today.
He also said his parents are keen to visit the temple and he will go there after the consecration event. “I want to visit Ayodhya with my entire family, my parents are very keen to go. But despite no invitation, I will go to Ayodhya. I will leave after January 22 with my wife, children, and parents,” added the Chief Minister.
Mr Kejriwal and his wife attended the ‘Sundar Kand’ recital at a Delhi temple yesterday and sought the blessings of Lord Ram and Hanuman for the country’s progress.
Senior Opposition leaders Mallikarjun Kharge, Sonia Gandhi, and Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury, Sharad Pawar, Lalu Prasad Yadav, and Uddhav Thackeray have turned down invitations for the event, criticizing the BJP’s rush to consecrate an under-construction temple and accusing it of looking to bolster its vote bank.