Ayodhya temple inauguration: BJP alleges DMK banned special poojas, minister refutes

Nirmala Sitharaman has alleged that cable TV operators were being threatened by the state government to not show the live relay of the ceremony.
Nirmala Sitharaman
Nirmala Sitharaman
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The Tamil Nadu police has asked the Kancheepuram Anmiga Peravai (Spiritual Wing) to remove the pandal erected in Rajendra Gardens in Kancheepuram that was installed for the live relay of Ayodhya Ram Temple’s consecration ceremony, as the event was organised without getting police permission. Finance Minister Nirmala Sitaraman was scheduled to participate in the event on January 22. 

The Spiritual wing of Tamil Nadu BJP had organised the event for around 800-1000 people at Rajendra Gardens in Kancheepuram. The tent was removed by the organisers after police objected to it. Security has been stepped up outside the venue. 

The organisers have approached the district administration for a change of location and want to hold the event inside Kanchi Kamatchi Amman temple premises. Meanwhile, Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman has alleged that the Tamil Nadu police were stopping private events from being organised in temples and that they were threatening organisers that they will remove the pandals.

Taking to X (formerly known as Twitter), Nirmala Sitharaman also alleged that cable TV operators were being threatened by the state government to not show the live relay of the ceremony. “Heart-breaking scenes in several parts of TN. People are threatened for organising #bhajans, feeding the poor, celebrating with sweets even as we wish to watch Hon. PM @narendramodi participate in #Ayodhya. Cable TV operators are told that there is a likely power-shut down during the live telecast. This is I.N.D.I Alliance partner DMK’s anti-Hindu efforts,” she wrote.

Responding to these allegations, Tamil Nadu Hindu Religious and Charitable Endowments (HR&CE) Minister PK Sekar Babu said the department has not imposed any limitations on devotees' freedom to offer food, conduct poojas in the name of Shri Ram, or provide prasad in Tamil Nadu temples. He said the spreading of false information was an attempt to divert people's attention from the DMK Youth Conference in Salem. 

“It is unfortunate that people in office, like Union Finance Minister Mrs. Nirmala Sitharaman and others, are purposefully propagating this erroneous information. In temples, there are no restrictions on conducting prayers in the name of Lord Rama tomorrow, or for usual events like offering food (annadhanam), prayers, etc. Someone is disseminating incorrect information," he added.

SG Suryah, State Secretary of Tamil Nadu BJP, said the DMK government was worse than the Mughals for Hindus. “#DMK Govt. worst than the Mughals for Hindus. Finance Minister @nsitharaman arrived in #Kanchipuram today. Venue she planned to attend Live #PranaPratishtha ceremony not given permission after we spent several lakhs, all banners removed & no permission for anything. Shameful,” he wrote on his X (formerly Twitter) handle.

Tamil Nadu BJP State President K Annamalai took to X (formerly Twitter) and said, “The DMK government has taken their Anti-Sanathana Dharma stand to an extreme level by imposing a blanket ban on conducting special pooja and Annadhana in Temples during Pran Prathikshtha in Ayodhya. The HR&CE department has denied permissions verbally & the TN Police department has been citing frivolous reasons for rejecting the request to telecast the programme live on a large LED screen that @BJP4TamilNadu & other organisations have arranged for the benefit of the devotees. Tamil Nadu, a place of historical significance during Ramayana, has now been shadowed by shallow-minded administrators of the state. The HR&CE Minister has now reversed his decision after his misadventure blows back in his face. We wish to inform the HR&CE Minister that the temples in TN are not the property of the Gopalapuram Family to impose regulations to suit your defunct propaganda.” 

He also announced that Tamil Nadu BJP will perform special poojas and Bhajans in all state temples to commemorate the consecration ceremony. 

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