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'Historic U-turn': Union Minister Shekhawat on Priyanka Gandhi's Comments Welcoming Ram Temple Event

People light lamps in Ayodhya on Tuesday evening.

People light lamps in Ayodhya on Tuesday evening.

Gajendra Singh Shekhawat's comments came after the Congress leader said Lord Ram belongs to everyone and that she hoped the ground-breaking ceremony of the temple in Ayodhya becomes a celebration of national unity.

Union Minister Gajendra Singh Shekhawat on Tuesday hit out at the Congress saying the party that denied the existence of Lord Ram is now signing his praise after taking a "U-turn" over the issue. His comments came after Congress leader Priyanka Gandhi Vadra said Lord Ram belongs to everyone and that she hoped the ground-breaking ceremony of the temple in Ayodhya becomes a celebration of national unity.

"The Congress' statement on Lord Ram is a historic U-turn. The Congress filed an affidavit (in the Supreme Court) denying the existence of Lord Ram. It is his magic (leela) that the general secretary of the political party that denied his existence is praising him today," Shekhawat said in a statement in Hindi.

He was referring to the affidavit filed by the then UPA government in the Supreme Court in 2007 saying there was no historical proof of the existence of Ram.

Shekhawat said the Ram temple issue is linked to the faith of crores of people.

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Ahead of the ground-breaking ceremony of the temple in Ayodhya on Wednesday, Priyanka Gandhi Vadra, the Congress general secretary for Uttar Pradesh, said Ramayana has left an indelible mark on the civilisation of the world.

"The 'bhoomi poojan' ceremony of Ram Mandir in Ayodhya has been scheduled for August 5. Hope this event becomes a celebration of national unity, brotherhood and cultural harmony in accordance with the message of Lord Ram and with his blessings," she said.