No holiday in south Indian states for Ram temple inauguration, BJP raises demand
While several state governments in India have declared a holiday on Monday, January 22, on the occasion of the 'Pran Prathishtha' ceremony for the Ram Temple in Ayodhya, no such holiday has been declared in any of the five southern states. The Union government announced on January 18 that all central government offices will remain closed for half a day on January 22, allowing employees to partake in the celebrations. However, despite the BJP in the five southern states pushing for a leave on January 22, no leave has been officially declared by the five state governments.
In Andhra Pradesh, BJP chief Daggubati Purandeswari criticised the state government under Chief Minister YS Jagan Mohan Reddy for not declaring a holiday on January 22. She called for the state to recognize the importance of the 'Pran Pratishtha' of the Ram Temple by granting a day off. Similarly, BJP National General Secretary Bandi Sanjay Kumar urged the Telangana government to follow suit, emphasising the significance of the ceremony as a “holy and once-in-a-lifetime event for Hindu devotees.”
In Karnataka, BJP state president BY Vijayendra said January 22 is set to be a historical day and urged Chief Minister Siddaramaiah to declare a holiday for the day. He said that a day off would enable millions of devotees to witness the landmark occasion with their families and perform religious rituals. On the other hand, the Associated Managements of Primary and Secondary Schools in Karnataka recommended live streaming the inauguration instead of granting a holiday to school going students.
Meanwhile, in Kerala, the BJP called on the CPI(M)-led government to declare a holiday for its institutions in light of the inauguration ceremony. BJP state chief K Surendran suggested that the state government follow the Union government's model, which declared a holiday for its institutions until 2.30 pm on January 22. Tamil Nadu BJP Vice-President Narayanan Thirupathy also urged the state government to declare a public holiday on January 22 to mark the temple’s inauguration.
The states and Union Territories in India which have declared a holiday on January 22 include Uttar Pradesh, Tripura, Chhattisgarh, Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh, Goa, Haryana, Odisha, Assam, Rajasthan, Gujarat, Chandigarh, Uttarakhand, Puducherry, Delhi and Himachal Pradesh.