Biswanath, Assam: Despite objections, from Assam Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma, who urged Rahul Gandhi to avoid visiting Batadrawa Than, the birthplace of Vaishnavite saint Srimanta Sankardeva during the consecration ceremony of the Ram temple in Ayodhya the Congress confirmed on Sunday that Gandhis scheduled visit would proceed as planned.
Jairam Ramesh, the General Secretary of All India Congress Committee (AICC) stressed that Gandhis visit to the Than in Assams Nagaon district would occur as originally intended and urged against politicizing it.
Gandhi is currently leading a 'Bharat Jodo Nyay Yatra' from Manipur to Mumbai passing through Assam from January 18th to 25th. The Yatra is set to reach Nagaon on Sunday. Will pause there for the night before continuing its journey the morning.
"The route for this Yatra was finalized 3 4 weeks ago and according to our schedule we will be in Nagaon on January 22nd " Ramesh stated during a press conference while en route, to Assam. "We believe it is essential for us to visit Batadrawa Than since we are passing through Nagaon. It holds significance as it is the birthplace of the renowned social reformer Srimanta Sankardeva, whose life continues to inspire millions today " he added.
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Ramesh emphasized that there should be no disputes or politics surrounding the visit. He mentioned that Gandhi will begin his visit, in Than on Monday morning and then proceed with the days journey passing through Morigaon district before entering Meghalaya. After a detour in the neighboring state the Yatra is expected to return to Assam.
In a media address on Sunday Sarma urged Gandhi to reconsider visiting Batadrawa on January 22. He expressed concerns about conflicts between Lord Ram and the revered Vaishnav saint from times, who is highly respected in the state. Sarma also announced that commandos would be deployed along routes in areas with minority populations that the Yatra will pass through on Monday.
Sarma stated, "We kindly request Rahul Gandhi not to visit Batadrava during the consecration ceremony of the Ram Temple on Monday. It might give Assam an image." He suggested that Gandhi could visit the 'satra' ( monastery) after the consecration ceremony without causing competition, which would be unfortunate, for Assam.