Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Adityanath said on Thursday that he will not attend the inauguration of a mosque in Ayodhya even if he is invited, The Indian Express reported. He, however, added that no one would invite him anyway.
In a landmark verdict on November 9 last year, the Supreme Court had ruled that the disputed land in Ayodhya would be handed over to a government-run trust for the construction of a Ram temple. The court said that the demolition of Babri Masjid was illegal and directed the government to acquire an alternative plot of land to build a mosque. Prime Minister Narendra Modi laid the foundation stone of the temple on August 5.
“If you ask me as a chief minister, then I don’t abstain from any religion or community,” Adityanath told reporters when asked if he would attend the inauguration of the mosque, whenever it took place. “But if asked to a yogi, then I will definitely not go. I will not go because I am a Hindu. As a Hindu, I have a right to worship and lead life as per the laid religious rules.” Adityanath is also the chief priest of the Gorakhnath temple in Gorakhpur.
Adityanath said he will not be invited anyway. “The day they will invite me, then a lot of people’s secularism will be in danger,” he claimed. Instead, the chief minister said, he would continue to work and ensure that the benefits of the government’s welfare schemes reach everybody.
“Remember, if I go for roza iftar or any other places and wear a skull cap, that is not secularism,” Adityanath added. “People also know the reality that they are pretensions.”
On August 5, Adityanath said that the ground-breaking ceremony of the Ram temple had been a dream come true, but added that the shrine was for everyone. Adityanath alleged that the Opposition was silent about the event because it had realised that opposing the construction of a Ram temple in Ayodhya will further jeopardise their prospects in the polls.