Mumbai: Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) supremo Sharad Pawar has respectfully declined the invitation from the Shri Ram Janmbhoomi Teerth Kshetra Trust to attend the ceremony in Ayodhya on 22 January, where the idol of Ram Lalla is set to be installed. Pawar, a distinguished political figure with four terms as the Chief Minister of Maharashtra and three-time Union Minister, conveyed his regrets to the trust's general secretary, Champat Rai, who extended the invitation.
In a letter expressing gratitude for the invitation, Pawar acknowledged the global reverence for Lord Ram and the significant enthusiasm among Ram Bhakts for the Ayodhya ceremonies. Despite being unable to participate in the event, Pawar expressed his joy in sharing the historic occasion through the devotees attending in large numbers.
While declining the invitation, Pawar assured that he has plans to visit Ayodhya for some pre-scheduled engagements and pledged to take out sufficient time for a darshan of Shri Ram Lalla with full faith. He also expressed optimism that the construction works of the Ram Mandir would be completed by the time of his visit.
It is noteworthy that earlier, the leadership of the Congress had also declined an invitation to attend the consecration ceremony of the Ram temple.
—Input from Agencies