Shiv Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray came in Uttar Pradesh’s Ayodhya Saturday for a two-day visit. He will participate in rituals near the Saryu river where he will address sainiks and others. He will see the site of Ram temple in Ayodhya on Sunday. Uddhav is unlikely to hold a rally in the city. His visit comes middle a clamour among Hindu outfits to bring an Ordinance to build the Ram Temple.
The Sena is part of the National Democratic Alliance (NDA) but has had strained ties with ally BJP. It has asked that the Centre promulgate an Ordinance and declare a date for the construction of Ram temple in Ayodhya.
“Uddhav will do aarti at 5.15 pm on the banks of the Saryu river in Ayodhya on November 24. All Senashakhas across Maharashtra and party units across the country have been asked to perform aarti at the same time,” a Sena leader said. The local administration has imposed Section 144 in Ayodhya, restricting the assembly of more than four people, as a precautionary measure.
Before this week, Uddhav had said his trip to Ayodhya was to “remind BJP” of its poll promise. “Many are asking why we (Shiv Sena) remembered Ram now when the elections are nearing. Why should I hide it? I have taken up this issue because of the elections only. I am going to Ayodhya to recall the BJP about the promise,” he said.
He created a new slogan, “Har Hindu kiyahipukar, Pehle mandir fir sarkar” (This is each Hindu’s call — first comes the temple and the government).
Sena MP Sanjay Raut Wednesday confirmed Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath that Uddhav’s visit will be peaceful and there will be no law and order challenges from the sainiks. A team of senior Sena leaders, comprising cabinet ministers, have already reached the venue to oversee preparations.
On Friday, Shiv Sena MP Arvind Sawant said his party is pushing for the building of a Ram temple in Ayodhya because it was promised by the BJP ahead of elections. “We have promised to the citizen of the country that once we come to power Ram Mandir will be constructed at Ayodhya. We are forgetting that promise. Therefore, Uddhav ji has taken this initiative,” he said.
The Opposition had saidUddav’s plan to visit Ayodhya, calling it “stunts” ahead of the elections. Maharashtra Congress president Ashok Chavan had alleged that Uddhav’s visit is politically motivated and meant to polarise votes.