Ahead of the Ram Mandir bhoomi pujan in Ayodhya, Congress leader Priyanka Gandhi issued a statement saying the event can be a celebration of national unity along with friendship and brotherhood among all. Priyanka Gandhi in a tweet said, "With the blessings of Lord Ram and Goddess Sita, the bhoomi pujan ceremony can become the foundation of national unity, brotherhood and cultural congregation." She further said, "Simplicity, courage, restraint, sacrifice and commitment are the essence of the name Ram. Ram is within everyone, Ram is with everyone." She said, Lord Ram belongs to everybody and wants everybody's welfare. That is why he is called 'Maryada Purshottam'. This is perhaps the first time in decades that a member of the Gandhi family has voiced open support and devotion for Ram. Congress has always towed the secular line in politics, but critics have argued that the grand old party resorted to 'soft Hindutva' agenda when it suited them.