According to sources, Mamata Banerjee, the chief minister of West Bengal, has chosen not to attend the January 22 inauguration of the Ram Mandir in Ayodhya. According to insiders, it is improbable that her party, the Trinamool Congress (TMC), will send a delegate to the event.
Even the TMC has not formally stated its decision, party sources close to Banerjee confided that the party is wary of being drawn into the ruling BJP’s political narrative. They think the TMC is unwilling to take second place to the BJP, which plans to use the Ram Mandir inauguration as a launchpad for its 2024 Lok Sabha campaign.
This development comes against the backdrop of the Ram Temple trust extending invitations to all chief ministers and leading opposition figures for the ceremony.
Earlier, Sitaram Yechury, the general secretary of the CPI(M), declined an offer to attend the Ram temple’s inauguration ceremony, claiming that “religion is a personal choice not to be converted into an instrument for political gain”.
Yechury’s party denounced the BJP and the RSS for turning a religious celebration into a state-sponsored event in a post on X, the previous Twitter platform.
On January 22, Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Chief Minister of Uttar Pradesh Yogi Adityanath, and more than 6,000 spectators are anticipated for the great “Pran Pratistha” ceremony marking the opening of the recently built Ram temple.