As Ram Temple Work Begins, Mamata Appeals for Unity, BJP Says TMC Disregarding Hindu Sentiments

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As Prime Minister Narendra Modi performed 'bhoomi pujan' for the Ram temple in Ayodhya, West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee Wednesday called for preserving brotherhood between communities and the age-oldlegacy of unity in diversity.

"Hindu Muslim Sikh Isai Aapas mein hain Bhai Bhai! Mera Bharat Mahaan, Mahaan Hamara Hindustan… Our country has always upheld the age-old legacy of unity in diversity, and we must preserve this to our last breath!" Banerjee tweeted.

Meanwhile, West Bengal BJP president Dilip Ghosh accused the Trinamool Congress government in the state of "disregarding Hindu sentiments" by clamping a lockdown on a day when "bhoomi pujan" ceremony was being organised in Ayodhya.

"We requested for altering the date of the lockdown. But it was not done. When devotees of Lord Ram wanted to celebrate the day in a small way in Bengal, they were stopped by the police. The TMC government has disregarded the sentiments of the Hindus in the state. The TMC will pay dearly for this in days to come," Ghosh said.

He asked Banerjee to come clean on whether she supports the construction of the Ram temple or not.

"After Ram temple verdict last year, she had remained silent. This time too, she is not clearly saying whether she supports the construction of the Ram temple or not," he said.

The state Congress leadership is of the opinion that the government should have withdrawn the lockdown instead of "playing into the hands" of the BJP. The state government could have easily altered the date of lockdown but it chose to play into the hands of the BJP, senior Congress leader Prdeep Bhattacharya said.

"But whatever the saffron camp is doing in the name of Bhoomi Pujan is also not acceptable. BJP doesn't have a copyright over Lord Ram," he said.

The CPI (M) leadership declined to comment on the matter.

Governor Jagdeep Dhankhar, who had announced that he would light earthen lamps at the Raj Bhavan on August 5 to mark the groundbreaking ceremony in Ayodhya, said the "silence" of the chief minister was due to her "appeasement politics".

"At 6.30pm today at Raj Bhawan 'will light lamps towill celebrate the historic day. The Bhoomi Pujan at Ram Mandir is a matter of pride and honour for all Indian. Long wait over-thanks to historic judicial verdict. Appeasement Silence Stance @MamataOfficial resonates. Ram Sita in our Constitution," Dhankhar tweeted.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi joined the bhoomi pujan rituals and laid the foundation stone for Ram temple at a grand ceremony on Wednesday. The wait of centuries has ended, Modi said after performing the groundbreaking ceremony for a temple at thespot where many devout Hindus believe Lord Ram was born.