Modi ‘politely declines’ invite to visit Ayodhya

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NARENDRAAhmedabad/Lucknow, June 18;Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi has declined an invitation to visit Ayodhya, his office said on Tuesday.

The Chief Minister’s Office, in a press statement, clarified that Mr. Modi “politely declined” the invitation to attend the ‘Amrit Mahotsava’ being celebrated on the 75th birthday of president of Ram Janma Bhumi Nyas Trust Mahant Nritya Gopal Das.

“On June 13 Nritya Gopal Das had made a phone call to Chief Minister and invited him to attend his Amrit Mahotsav being organised during June 19 to 22, 2013. But, he had politely informed him that because of his pre-decided engagements it would be difficult for him to remain present,” the statement said.

Mr. Modi, while expressing his inability to attend the function, thanked the Mahant for the invitation and wish for the success of the function, it said.

The Vishwa Hindu Parishad on Tuesday refuted a media report that Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi is scheduled to visit the disputed Ram Janma Bhoomi site in Ayodhya later this month.

“I have been quoted as commenting on the visit of Narendra Modi. But I am hereby officially refuting any such comment being attributed to me,” Sharad Sharma, regional media in-charge of the VHP in Ayodhya, said in a statement.

Saying that a news agency quoted him out of context regarding the Ayodhya visit of Mr. Modi, Mr. Sharma added that he did not receive such intimation from the head of Bharatiya Janata Party’s poll campaign panel for the 2014 general elections.

Earlier, the news of Mr. Modi’s Ayodhya visit sent the media and political establishment in a tizzy with many pointing out that the Janata Dal-United was correct in parting ways with the BJP, as the saffron outfit was trying to re-ignite the Ayodhya brand of politics.

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