Congress leaders and workers, led by Uttar Pradesh Chief Ajay Rai, embarked on a journey to Ayodhya on Monday. Their plan includes taking a holy dip in the Saryu river and offering prayers at various temples in the city.
While the top leadership of the Congress, including Mallikarjun Kharge, Sonia Gandhi, and Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury, declined the invitation to the Ram temple consecration ceremony on January 22, the state unit decided to proceed with its scheduled visit for “Makar Sankranti.”
Party spokesperson Uma Shankar Pandey confirmed their itinerary, stating, “They are scheduled to reach Ayodhya by 2 pm.” Among those on the journey are Congress Legislature Party leader Aradhana Mishra and Congress national secretary in-charge Dheeraj Gurjar.
Senior leaders Deepender Singh Hooda and Avinash Pande will join the Ayodhya visit by taking a flight, Pandey added.
The Congress leaders plan to participate in rituals like taking a dip in the Saryu river and paying obeisance at the Hanuman Garhi temple and the revered idol of Ram Lalla.
The decision of the Congress leadership to skip the Ram temple consecration ceremony was clarified last week, with the party stating that they respectfully declined the invitation. They accused the BJP of turning the event into a “political project” and saying that religion is a “personal matter.”
Ajay Rai reiterated the party’s commitment to their scheduled visit on ‘Makar Sankranti,’ saying that it was not connected to the consecration ceremony but a part of their cultural observance.