Not visiting Ayodhya to play politics, says Uddhav Thackeray

first_imgThere was no question of seeking any permission for a public rally in Ayodhya, said Shiv Sena president Uddhav Thackeray on Thursday while clarifying that he was not visiting the place with the intention of playing politics.“I have already stated right from the start that I am not going to hold a public rally in Ayodhya. I am going there to seek blessings from saints and participate in rituals along the Sarayu River and then offer worship to Lord Ram,” said the Sena chief, speaking at the Shivneri Fort, the birthplace of the Maratha warrior king Chhatrapati Shivaji.Sena leaders, however, claim that they have been denied permission for holding a rally in Ayodhya by the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) government in Uttar Pradesh.“I have said several times in public rallies that they [the BJP] bring up the Ram Temple issue only during election time. How long will the BJP keep fooling people over this? I, too, want a definite answer as to when will the work [on Ram temple] finally commence. This is the objective of my visit to Ayodhya,” Mr. Thackeray said, taking potshots at the BJP.Mr. Thackeray reached the fort in Junnar taluk, 95 km from the city on Thursday morning where he was welcomed by enthusiastic Shiv Sainiks amid a boisterous dhol tasha display.The Shiv Sena chief took a handful of soil from the fort in an urn, which he said he would be taking with him during his November 24-25 visit to Ayodhya.“Chhatrapati Shivaji is idolized by a great many Hindus. Hence, the soil of Shivaji’s birthplace, which I’ll be carrying with me on my Ayodhya trip, perfectly encapsulates the emotions and the sentiments of our community. I hope that my visit there will expedite the process of the Ram Temple,” Mr. Thackeray said. He further said he would speak to the media in detail only after his return.Mr. Thackeray has needled the BJP on the Ram temple issue several times in the past month, daring his coalition ally to “come clean” and “confess” before the public that building the temple was not possible for them.Addressing a pre-election rally of Shiv Sainiks in the temple town of Shirdi in Ahmednagar district last month, the Sena chief had targeted Prime Minister Narendra Modi, remarking that the BJP was continually deceiving people on the Ram Mandir issue.last_img

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