Citing a Tamil daily's reportage, Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman on Sunday alleged that the Tamil Nadu government administered temples have barred puja for Lord Ram on the day of the consecration of the grand temple in Ayodhya, which was dismissed by the state as a false news with ulterior motives.

Sitharaman, in a post on X alleged: "TN govt has banned watching live telecast of #AyodhaRamMandir programmes of 22 Jan 24. In TN there are over 200 temples for Shri Ram. In HR&CE managed temples no puja/bhajan/prasadam/annadanam in the name of Shri Ram is allowed. Police are stopping privately held temples also from organising events. They are threatening organisers that they will rip off pandals. Strongly condemn this anti-Hindu, hateful action." The Union Minister tagged the Tamil newspaper's report in this regard.

Reacting to the allegation, Tamil Nadu Hindu Religious and Charitable Endowments Minister, P K Sekar Babu said there is no such ban. In temples in Tamil Nadu, the HR & CE Department has not imposed any kind of ban for conduct of puja for Lord Ram. Also, there is no bar to distribute 'Annadhanam' and 'Prasadam.'

"A rumour is being disseminated to divert people's attention from the DMK's youth wing conference, underway now at Salem," he said in a social media post.

Further, Sekar Babu dubbed the reportage as completely false and had ulterior motives. He said it was regrettable that Sitharaman, who holds a high office, was circulating such fake news.

(Except for the headline, this story, from a syndicated feed, has not been edited by staff)