The Samajwadi Party on Friday sought an apology from Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath over his remark that he would not attend the inauguration of the mosque to be built in Ayodhya.

After the bhoomi pujan for a Ram temple in Ayodhya, Yogi Adityanath had said on television that “as a Yogi and a Hindu” he couldn’t go for the inauguration of a mosque.

Reacting to the remark, ex-Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav’s party said he should seek an apology from the people of the state. When contacted, a UP Congress spokesperson, however, refused to comment on the Chief Minister’s comments.

“If you ask me as a Chief Minister, I have no problem with any belief, religion or community. If you ask me as a Yogi, I will definitely not go because as a Hindu I have the right to express my ”Upasana Vidhi” (way of worship) and act accordingly,” Yogi Adityanath said.

“I am neither ”vaadi or “prativadi” (petitioner nor respondent). That is why neither will I be invited, nor will I go. I know, I won’t be getting any such invitation,” he said.

“The day they invite me, secularism of many will be in danger. That’s why I want that their secularism should not be in danger and I continue to silently work to ensure that everyone benefits from government scheme without any discrimination,” he said.

He claimed that the Congress never wanted a solution to the dispute. “They wanted the dispute to continue for their political benefit.”

“Attending roza-iftar with a skull cap is not secularism. People also know that this is drama. People know the reality,” the Chief Minister said.

Samajwadi Party spokesperson Pawan Pandey criticised Yogi Adityanath over his remarks and said that he has violated the oath that he took while assuming charge as the Chief Minister.

“He is the Chief Minister of the entire state, and not only of the Hindu community. Whatever the population of Hindus and Muslims in the state, he is the Chief Minister of all. This language of the Chief Minister lacks dignity,” he said.

“He should seek an apology from the people for this,” Mr Pandey said.

UP Congress media cell convenor Lalan Kumar said, “We don’t have any comments on his mosque statement.”

But he credited the former prime minister Rajiv Gandhi for opening the locks on the Ram Janmabhoomi-Babri Masjid.

Referring to the ruling BJP, the Congress spokesperson said, “They play politics of fake Hindutva. The Congress has always talked about whatever is in the interest of people.”

“Lord Ram is everyone’s, but the BJP wants to show that Ram is theirs alone,” he added.

Yogi Adityanath had attended the groundbreaking ceremony Wednesday for a Ram temple in Ayodhya, where Prime Minister Narendra Modi was the main guest.

Last November, the Supreme Court had settled the Ayodhya land dispute, allowing the construction of the temple at Ram Janmabhoomi by a trust.

The top court had also ordered the allocation of a five-acre plot of land elsewhere in Ayodhya for the construction of a mosque, in place of the Babri Masjid which was demolished in 1992. A trust has been formed by the Sunni Waqf Board for building this mosque.