‘Not political, came as devotees’: Sena's Aaditya Thackeray on visit to Ayodhya
Aaditya Thackeray said that Shiv Sena supremo and the chief minister of the western state Uddhav Thackeray will speak with his Uttar Pradesh counterpart Yogi Adityanath and ask for a space to build a Maharashtra Sadan in UP's Ayodhya.
On a day that marked a meeting of several opposition leaders in Delhi called by Trinamool Congress (TMC) supremo and West Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee, Shiv Sena leader and Maharashtra minister Aaditya Thackeray's visit to Uttar Pradesh's Ayodhya district has turned heads. Aaditya, who is the son of Shiv Sena supremo and Maharashtra chief minister Uddhav Thackeray, however, denied that his visit to Ayodhya was “political” and termed it a “matter of faith” instead.
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Visuals shared by news agency ANI showed the junior Thackeray visiting the Iskcon Temple on Wednesday. Wearing a mask and with Sena MP Sanjay Raut by his side, Aaditya performed aarti at the venue. He later visited the Hanuman Garhi temple and offered prayers there as well.
The Maharashtra minister later told reporters that they have gone to Ayodhya as “devotees”, ANI reported.
Aaditya also said that Uddhav Thackeray will speak with Uttar Pradesh chief minister Yogi Adityanath on facilitating devotees from Maharashtra to Ayodhya. “CM Uddhav Thackeray will speak with UP CM Yogi Adityanath and ask for a space to build a Maharashtra Sadan in Ayodhya,” Aaditya was quoted as saying by ANI.
On his visit to Hanuman Garhi, one of the most significant temples in Ayodhya, Aaditya said he will “surely” visit again and added that the people of the UP district gave them a “warm welcome”.
Meanwhile, Raut claimed that Hanuman Garhi's Maharaj said he is with the Sena party and the Thackeray family, and has invited the Maharashtra chief minister to visit Ayodhya. “He will (Uddhav Thackeray) soon visit Ayodhya. Talks (between the Maharashtra CM and Adityanath) may take place in [the] next one to two days,” he added.
Earlier in the day, Shiv Sena leaders attended a mega opposition meet in Delhi that was called by Banerjee to discuss the forthcoming presidential polls. Several prominent opposition leaders, including Samajwadi Party (SP) chief Akhilesh Yadav and PDP's Mehbooba Mufti, among others, were present at the meeting.