Shiv Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray, who on Saturday came to his maiden visit to Ayodhya, launched a scathing attack on the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) government for the delay in the construction of Ram Temple. Thackeray, who arrived at the banks of Sarayu river for 'Sarayu aarti' along with his family this morning, asked the Narendra Modi government to announce the date for Ram Temple construction soon.
"You say you will make the temple there, but won't tell the date. First say when will you construct the temple, the rest we will discuss later," the Shiv Sena leader dared the Modi-led BJP government months ahead of the Lok Sabha elections 2019. "Day, months, years and generations have passed," he added. Taking a dig at PM Modi's '56-inch chest' remark, Thackeray said one needs guts to construct the Ram Temple rather than a 56-inch chest.
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Salman Nadvi, former member of the AIMPL Board, on the other hand, said that the Muslims all over India should leave their claims regarding the mosque in Ayodhya for the sake of their own country.
Uddhav Thackeray is in a two-day visit to Ayodhya ahead of a planned VHP rally for a Ram Temple in the disputed site of Ayodhya. He claimed that his visit to Ayodhya had nothing to do with Sena's political strategies. The Shiv Sena chief, who is accompanied by his son Aditya Thackeray and wife Reshmi Thackeray, also performed the 'maha aarti' on the banks of River Sarayu. Shri Nritya Gopal Das, the president of Ram Janmabhoomi Trust, along with other 108 Acharya also took part in the proceedings.
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Earlier in the day, Thackeray reported to have brought a pot full of soil from the Shivneri fort in Pune, which he later handed over to the priest at the Ram Janmabhoomi in Ayodhya.
On Sunday morning, Thackeray is scheduled to go for a darshan of Ram Lalla accompanied, interact with the media and later with the public, according to sources. The temple town will witness another major congregation of the Vishva Hindu Parishad (VHP) activists, who will be taking part in a Dharma Sabha.
#WATCH: Shiv Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray along with his son Aditya Thackeray offers prayer at Sarayu River in Ayodhya. Shiv Sena will hold an event in the city tomorrow over the matter of #RamTemple. pic.twitter.com/oJdSnVVwck— ANI UP (@ANINewsUP) November 24, 2018
Ahead of Thackeray's arrival at the pilgrimage town, Sena, which has demanded expediting the construction of a Ram temple in Ayodhya by promulgating an ordinance to the effect, have sent some 3,000 Shiv Sena supporters by two trains from Maharashtra. The cadres first took a dip in the Sarayu River and then offered prayers to Ram Lalla and Hanuman Garhi.
This is Thackeray's first visit to Ayodhya and party leaders, including MP Sanjay Raut, and others had been campaigning in the town for the last few days to make preparations for the same. In a bid to avoid untoward incidents, security has been beefed up at the disputed site with thousands of police and paramilitary personnel keeping a watch over the sensitive place.