Sena hyperlinks Ram Temple fund drive to 2024 polls, BJP refutes

Mumbai, December 21

The Shiv Sena on Monday alleged that the mass contact initiative to collect funds from public for the construction of Ram Temple in Ayodhya was akin to “canvassing” for the 2024 general elections in the name of Lord Ram.

Hitting back

  • The BJP dismissed the charge, saying it was not a political issue for the party
  • It accused the Shiv Sena of creating hurdles in the donation initiative “in which people are participating voluntarily”

An editorial in Sena mouthpiece ‘Saamana’ said it was never decided that the grand temple would be constructed through public donations, and “political campaigning in the name of Lord Ram has to be stopped at some point of time”.

“But the issue of public donations is not simple. It is political,” it alleged.

Shri Ram Janmabhoomi Teerth Kshetra Trust’s general secretary Champat Rai last week said the Trust was going to start a mass contact and contribution campaign across the country for construction of the temple.

“It will be built using domestic funds collected from the general public through a mass contact programme as the Trust doesn’t have required approvals for accepting donations from abroad,” Rai said.

The Marathi daily, without naming any party or organisation, said, “The temple, basically, is not being built for political gains of a political party, but for unfurling the pennants of Hindu pride of the country.” It claimed four lakh volunteers will implement the mass contact initiative. “This mass contact programme is campaigning for the 2024 Lok Sabha polls in the name of Lord Ram. The political campaigning in Lord Ram’s name has to be stopped at some point,” it said.

The editorial asked who the volunteers (for the mass contact drive) exactly were and sought clarity on their parent organisation. — PTI

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