Shiv Sena chief Bal Thackeray on Tuesday said he did not go to Ayodhya in 1992 as Hindutva forces failed to unite under a common banner.
"The fight for Ram mandir was a struggle for all Hindus. I insisted that all Hindu parties and organisations should set aside their banners and unite under a saffron flag for this cause. That did not happen, so I did not go to Ayodhya," Thackeray said in party mouthpiece 'Saamana'.
The Sena chief was responding to the recent criticism by Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP) leader Ashok Singhal that he skipped Ayodhya visit because he lacked courage.
Commenting on Thackeray's claim that Shiv Sainiks demolished the Babri Masjid in Ayodhya in December 1992, the VHP leader had said, "Thackeray didn't go to Ayodhya. He did not have the courage."
"Shiv Sainiks were at the forefront during demolition of Babri Masjid. Some of them even laid down their lives. I am proud of them," Thackeray said.