Leaders across the political spectrum on Wednesday welcomed the groundbreaking ceremony for the Ram temple in Ayodhya, hoping the development would pave the way for national unity and harmony.
Various leaders hailed the historic event, and hoped the country progressed further and that people follow the ideals of Lord Ram.
Their reactions come on a day when Prime Minister Narendra Modi laid the first brick of the Ram temple in Ayodhya.
Terming the foundation laying of Ram temple as a "historic and proud day" for India, home minister Amit Shah said it heralds the beginning of a new era.
He said by starting the construction of the grand Ram temple in Ayodhya, Modi has written a golden chapter in the history of the great Indian civilisation, and asserted that the government remains committed to the preservation of Indian culture and its values.
"Today is a historic and proud day for India. The consecration of the grand Ram temple by Prime Minister Narendra Modi at Lord Ram's birthplace has written a golden chapter in the history of great Indian culture and civilisation and heralded the beginning of a new era," Shah, who is recuperating at a private hospital in Gurgaon after contracting COVID-19, said.
He said the construction of the temple is the result of centuries long sacrifice, struggle and penance of the innumerable devotees of Lord Ram.
"On this day, I salute all those ascetics who fought for this priceless heritage of them who struggled for years to preserve this precious heritage of Sanatan civilization. Jai Shree Ram," he tweeted in Hindi.
"The construction of the grand Ram temple demonstrates the strong and decisive leadership of Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
"My heartiest congratulations to all Indians on this unforgettable day. The Modi government will always remain committed to the preservation of Indian culture and its values," he also said.
Shah said the ideals and thoughts of Lord Ram reside in the soul of India. "His character and philosophy are the foundation of Indian culture."
West Bengal chief minister and Trinamool Congress supremo Mamata Banerjee said, "Hindu Muslim Sikh Isaai, Aapas mein hain Bhai Bhai! Mera Bharat Mahaan, Mahaan Hamara Hindustan."
"Our country has always upheld the age-old legacy of unity in diversity, and we must preserve this to our last breath," she tweeted.
Congress leader Rahul Gandhi said Lord Ram is the ultimate embodiment of supreme human values and can never appear in cruelty, hatred or injustice.
In a tweet in Hindi, Gandhi said, "Maryada Purshottam Lord Ram is the ultimate embodiment of supreme human values. He is the core of humanism embedded deep in our hearts".
"Ram is love, he can never appear in hatred. Ram is compassion, he can never appear in cruelty. Ram is justice, he can never appear in injustice," he said.
Delhi chief minister Arvind Kejriwal sent his best wishes to fellow citizens on the bhoomi poojan of the Ram temple.
"May we continue to receive Lord Ram's blessings. May his blessings also help the country get rid of poverty, starvation and poverty and India emerges as the world's most powerful country and guide the world in the coming times. Jai Shri Ram. Jai Bajrang Bali," he said in a tweet in Hindi.
Union minister and Bharatiya Janata Party leader Ravi Shankar Prasad said today is a historic day and we can all feel the joy of this moment.
"The grand Ram temple is also the temple of the country. It is also a celebration of India's pride, self respect and our spiritual inheritance," he said in Hindi.
Extending best wishes to people on the bhoomi poojan function, Congress chief spokesperson Randeep Surjewala said "We hope the ideals of sacrifice, duty, compassion, generosity, unity, fraternity, harmony and courtesy preached by Lord Ram will become the guiding force for the country."
Rajasthan chief Minister Ashok Gehlot stressed that there was a need to focus on establishment of an egalitarian society based on values espoused by Lord Ram.
"Lord Ram holds a unique place in our culture & civilization. His life teaches us the importance of truth, justice, equality of all, compassion & brotherhood. We need to focus on establishing an egalitarian society based on the values espoused by #LordRam," he said in a tweet.
Samajwadi Party leader Akhilesh Yadav also hoped the present and future generations will sincerely follow the path shown by 'Maryada Purushottam' and will do good to all and bring peace.
Another BJP leader Suresh Prabhu termed it as a glorious moment in India's history and said, "We all are lucky to witness this moment".
Another Congress leader Shashi Tharoor said Lord Ram epitomises justice for all, righteous conduct, fairness and firmness in all dealings, moral rectitude and courage.
"These values are much needed in such dark times. If they spread throughout the land, Ram Rajya would not be an occasion for triumphalist bigotry. JaiShriRam," he tweeted.
The consecration of the Ram temple in Ayodhya on Wednesday heralds the end of a three-decade long BJP-led political movement in the country, which saw the saffron party surge from a negligible presence in Lok Sabha to an absolute majority today.
It was in 1990 that then BJP president L K Advani embarked on the Ram Rath Yatra from Somnath to Ayodhya to galvanise support for the temple and challenge the hegemony of the Congress in Indian politics.
The Rath Yatra started soon after the VHP performed 'Shilanyas' at the temple site on November 9, 1989.