Parted ways with BJP, not Hindutva, says Uddhav Thackeray in Ayodhya

Updated on Mar 08, 2020 06:28 AM IST

Thackeray along with his son Aaditya and wife Rashmi, paid obeisance to Ram Lalla at the makeshift Ram temple in Ayodhya and performed puja with full Vedic rituals.

Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray addresses a press conference as Maharashtra Environment Minister Aditya Thackeray looks on, in Ayodhya, Saturday, March 7, 2020.(PTI photo)
Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray addresses a press conference as Maharashtra Environment Minister Aditya Thackeray looks on, in Ayodhya, Saturday, March 7, 2020.(PTI photo)
Hindustan Times, Ayodhya | By

Maharashtra chief minister and Shiv Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray on Saturday said he had parted ways with the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) but had not given up Hindutva.

Thackeray along with his son Aaditya and wife Rashmi, paid obeisance to Ram Lalla at the makeshift Ram temple in Ayodhya and performed puja with full Vedic rituals.

It was Thackeray’s first visit to the temple town after becoming the Maharashtra chief minister.

“I have parted ways with the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), not Hindutva. BJP and Hindutva are not the same. BJP is not Hindutva,” he said to reporters.

He was referring to the break-up with his party’s longtime ally after a squabble over the issue of power-sharing in the state. After cutting off its ties with the BJP, the Shiv Sena formed a government in the state in alliance with the ideologically different Nationalist Congress Party and Congress.

He announced, “The Shiv Sena will donate Rs 1 crore from its own trust for construction of Ram Mandir in Ayodhya.”

“In Marathi, there is a phrase ‘phool na phoolachi paakli’ (one should offer a petal if not the whole flower). So I am humbly announcing Rs 1 crore assistance for temple construction, not on behalf of the (Maharashtra) government, but our trust,” the Maharashtra chief minister said.

“We are humbly requesting the members of the (Ram temple) trust (formed to construct the temple on the Supreme Court’s orders) to accept the small contribution from Ram bhakts (devotees of Lord Ram),” he said to reporters before offering prayers at the makeshift Ram Lalla temple.

“Not as the chief minister or from the government of Maharashtra, I am contributing this money because I am a devotee of Lord Ram,” he said.

Thackeray also said the Maharashtra government was planning to construct Maharashtra Bhavan in Ayodhya.

“I will discuss the issue with chief minister Yogi Adityanath to allot land to the Maharashtra government for construction of Maharashtra Bhavan in Ayodhya,” he said.

The Shiv Sena chief said his Ayodhya visits had always brought success (for him and the party).

When asked whether he will again come to Ayodhya for ‘bhoomi pujan’ of the Ram temple, Thackeray said: “I will continue to visit Ayodhya.”

Thackeray was accompanied by several ministers of the Maharashtra government and MPs. Shiv Sena leader and spokesperson Sanjay Raut was also present on the occasion.

A large number of Shiv Saniks, who reached Ayodhya on Friday (March 6) evening by a special train, welcomed the Thackeray family at the entrance of the Ram Janmabhoomi campus with slogans in Marathi.

The party workers returned to Mumbai by the same train on Saturday night.

However, the Maharashtra CM did not attend Saryu aarti on the banks of Saryu due to the coronavirus outbreak.

“I wanted to perform the aarti...But will definitely do it the next time,” he said.

The Sena chief has made trips to Ayodhya on two previous occasions—on November 24, 2018 and then again on June 16 last year.

After Thackeray took the oath of Maharashtra CM, the Shiv Sena had announced that he will visit Ayodhya after completion of 100 days of the government.

The announcement about Thackeray’s visit to Ayodhya had sparked off allegations that it was an attempt by the Sena to keep its Hindutva agenda alive and those of diluting its stand on the issue after joining hands with the NCP and Congress.

Senior Shiv Sena leader Sanjay Raut had refuted claims, saying “we do not need to do these gimmicks for Hindutva”.

Thackeray was sworn-in as the Maharashtra chief minister on November 28, 2019, and the Sena-led Maha Vikas Aghadi (MVA) government completed 100 days in office on March 6.

SHARE THIS ARTICLE ON
  • ABOUT THE AUTHOR

    Pawan Dixit has been a journalist for over a decade. He has extensively covered eastern UP for around five years, covered 2012 UP assembly polls, 2014 Lok Sabha polls while being stationed in Varanasi. Now, in Lucknow, he covers outstation political assignments, reports special cases from district court, high court and state information commission

SHARE
Story Saved
×
Saved Articles
Following
My Reads
My Offers
Sign out
New Delhi 0C
Sunday, December 04, 2022
Start 15 Days Free Trial Subscribe Now
Register Free and get Exciting Deals