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New Delhi: As the first instalment of stones is set to reach Ayodhya to begin with the construction of Ram Mandir, the Congress Party accused Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) on Monday for using the Ram Mandir dispute to recuperate from its lost pride.

Congress leader Sandeep Dikshit accused BJP of reinitiating the 25-year-old ‘drama’ of and blamed them to revive this topic every time they fall in the public eye.


“The age-old drama has once again started. The stones were brought but the temple was never built. Whenever the image of the BJP goes down in the public, whenever they feel insecure, they start raising the Ram Temple issue,” Dikshit was quoted as saying to a newspaper.

He also emphasised on the contribution of other BJP supporters in the re-escalation of the issue and their political agenda for doing the same.

“The business that the VHP, RSS, Hindu Mahasabha and the BJP do in selling the name of Ram is world’s best marketing strategy. Unfortunately, the BJP has made the so-called God, i.e. Ram, a political weapon which they use to regain their lost pride,” he added.

Dikshit’s views were supported by another Congress leader PL Punia, who emphasised on Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) for raising the Ram Mandir issue strictly for political gains and accused them of reaching to any extent for achieving that.

“The RSS was first saying that the issue of Ram Temple in Ayodhya is very important and that it should be built. But when the matter went to the court, they said that the temple would be built after the orders of the High Court,” PL Punia exclaimed.

Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP) had declared nearly six months back a countrywide drive to gather stones for the construction of the Ram Mandir in Ayodhya. They have already collected two trucks of stones and it reached the city yesterday.

RSS Chief Mohan Bhagwat had earlier said that he would make sure that the temple is constructed and emphasised that the temple is constructed in his lifetime.


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Indian wrestler Ravi Kumar (57kg) and Deepak Punia (86kg) enjoyed fruitful outings at the Tokyo Olympic Games as they secured semifinal berths in their respective weight categories at the Makuhari Messe on Wednesday.

On the opening day of the wrestling competition, Ravi Kumar defeated Bulgaria's Georgi Vangelov 14-4 on technical superiority to reach the last-four in the men's 57kg category, while compatriot Deepak Punia overcame China's Zushen Lin 6-3 on points to advance to the semifinals.

Ravi Kumar will take on Nurislam Sanayev of Kazakhstan in the last-four, while Punia will be up against David Morris Taylor of the USA.

Earlier, Ravi Kumar had won his opening-round bout by technical superiority against Colombia's Oscar Tigreros to secure a quarterfinal spot. Competing in the Round-of-16 bout against the Colombian wrestler, the 23-year-old Ravi Kumar, who is making his Olympic debut, showed no nerves as he dominated the bout to win by technical superiority (13-2).

Ravi Kumar landed attack after attack and went 13-2 up, winning the bout by technical superiority with minutes to spare. In wrestling, building up a 10-point lead over the opponent results in a victory by technical superiority.

India's 86kg freestyle wrestler Deepak Punia showed no signs of the niggle that had forced him to pull out of the Poland Open Ranking Series in Warsaw in June, as he defeated Nigeria's Ekerekeme Agiomor on technical superiority to secure a quarterfinal berth.

He got his Olympic campaign to a fine start as he was in control from the start of the bout and hardly ever allowed his Nigerian opponent any room to maneuver his moves, finally winning with a 12-1 on technical superiority.

Punia, who had also suffered an elbow injury just before the Games, was slow at the start but came into his own as the bout progressed, inflicting takedowns at regular intervals to earn points.

The Indian wrestler eased into a 4-1 lead at the break and extended his lead comfortably in the second period.

Punia, the silver medallist from the 2019 world wrestling championships, then set up a clash with China's Lin Zushen in the quarterfinals and defeated him 6-3.

(IANS/HP)