Chennai: A war of words erupted between the BJP and the DMK over the live telecast of the Ram Temple event in Ayodhya on Sunday. Union minister Nirmala Sitharaman accused the MK Stalin-led Tamil Nadu government of banning the broadcast and preventing private temples from holding ceremonies in the name of Lord Ram. She also alleged that the police were threatening the organisers and tearing down the pandals. She called the action “anti-Hindu” and “hateful”.
The Tamil Nadu government, however, refuted the allegations and said that the BJP was spreading false information to divert attention from the DMK Youth Conference in Salem. PK Sekar Babu, the minister of Hindu religious and charitable endowments, said that there were no restrictions on devotees’ freedom to offer food, conduct poojas, or provide prasad in the state’s temples. He condemned Sitharaman and other BJP leaders for “purposefully propagating this erroneous information”.
He also pointed out that there were no law and order issues in the state on the day of the Ayodhya verdict or the foundation laying ceremony by Prime Minister Narendra Modi. He said that the BJP was rattled by the groundswell of support for the DMK and its leader MK Stalin, who is the chief ministerial candidate for the upcoming assembly elections.
Last week, Stalin’s son and DMK leader Udhayanidhi Stalin had said that his party was not in favour of building a temple after demolishing a mosque. He said that the DMK had no problem with a temple coming up in Ayodhya, but not at the cost of another religious structure.
The Ram Temple event in Ayodhya will witness the presence of hundreds of politicians, actors, and other celebrities on Monday. Most of the major opposition parties, including the Congress, the SP, the BSP, and the RJD, have declined the invitation to the event, saying that the BJP was trying to politicise a religious matter.
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