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Tuesday, Oct 22, 2019

You have a majority, announce Ram temple date now: Uddhav Thackeray dares BJP government from Ayodhya

Shiv Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray on Saturday dared the BJP government to announce a date for the construction of the Ram temple in Ayodhya.

india Updated: Nov 24, 2018 17:34 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times, Ayodhya
Shiv Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray arrives in Ayodhya.
Shiv Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray arrives in Ayodhya.(Shiv Sena/Twitter)
         

Shiv Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray on Saturday dared the BJP government to announce a date for the construction of the Ram temple in Ayodhya, asking how much longer the people will have to wait for the temple.

“The Atal Bihari Vajpayee government was a coalition one and had compulsions. Your government has full majority. Bring an ordinance or law, whatever you want, but announce a date now,” he demanded from the Narendra Modi administration.

“The Kumbhkaran slept for six months. But this Kumbhkaran (Modi government) has been sleeping for the past four years. I have not come here to fight with anyone or take credit for construction of Ram Mandir. You (BJP) construct the temple and take credit,” he said, adding that he will support the move.

The Shiv Sena chief also taunted the Narendra Modi government mentioning demonetisation, saying the government did not wait for the court order to announce the note ban decision. “Now why are you waiting for the court order on Ram temple?” he asked.

“Vajpayee had once said ‘Ab Hindu maans nahi kayega’ (Now, the Hindu will not eat meat). Now I say ‘Ab Hindu chup nahi baithega’ (Now, the Hindu will not sit quiet),” he roared, as supporters chanted “Har Hindu ki yahi pukar, pehle mandir fir sarkar” (this is every Hindu’s call – first temple, then government).

Uddhav’s visit is part of Sena’s campaign ahead of the elections next year for the building of the Ram temple at the disputed site in Ayodhya, where lakhs of kar sevaks had razed the Babri Masjid 26 years ago claiming that a temple dedicated to Lord Ram had been razed to build the mosque.

After the Supreme Court pushed the next hearing of the dispute to January 2019, several BJP leaders and saffron groups have demanded a law to build the temple.

The Shiv Sena, which is part of the National Democratic Alliance (NDA) but has had strained ties with ally BJP, has demanded that the Centre come out with an ordinance and declare a date for the construction of the Ram temple. It has claimed the support of more than 400 members of Parliament cutting across party lines for the ordinance. 

“The Babri mosque was demolished in 17 minutes...How long does it take to prepare papers... to bring ordinance... from the Rashtrapati Bhawan to Uttar Pradesh assembly...They are all BJP governments,” Shiv Sena MP Sanjay Raut said on Friday.

Thackeray arrived along with his son Aditya Thackeray at around 1.30 pm amid heavy security to take part in grand puja (rituals) as part of a campaign to raise the pitch for the construction of a Ram temple.

He performed rituals at Ashirwaad Sammelan at Laxman Quila where they sought blessings of the seers. Around 4,000 Shiv Sainiks reached the town before him and chanted slogans, welcoming them.

Thackeray brought an urn containing the earth from the Shivneri Fort — the birthplace of Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj in Pune district of Maharashtra. He performed a maha-aarti on the banks of the Saryu river.

On Sunday, he will visit the disputed site of Ram temple.

Party leaders including Sanjay Raut, Ministers Eknath Shinde, Rajan Vichare, Mumbai Mayor Vishwanath Mahadeshwar and others have been camping in Ayodhya since the past few days to prepare for his visit.

This will be the Thackerays’ first-ever visit to the holy city, though in the past his father and founder of the Shiv Sena, the late Bal Thackeray had travelled to Uttar Pradesh on a couple of occasions.

Coinciding with Thackeray’s visit to Ayodhya, the Shiv Sena has planned aartis at 25 places across Mumbai. Bike rallies too will be taken out by the Sena workers across the city. The Sena leaders have been asked to perform aartis in Ram and Hanuman temples across the city.

The Uttar Pradesh police have sounded a statewide alert amid apprehension of trouble, also because the VHP is organising Dharam Sabha on Sunday, where over one lakh people are expected to attend a rally.

Restrictions have been imposed on the entry of devotees at the site of the makeshift temple, with devotees being in small batches.

A large contingent of police force, including the Border Security Force (BSF), Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) and Rapid Action Force (RAF), has been deployed in the temple town along with 70 companies of the Provincial Armed Constabulary (PAC), Anti-Terrorist Squad (ATS) and 4,000 personnel of civil police to maintain law and order.

Authorities apprehend a repeat of December 1992 incident, when the Babri mosque was razed down by kar sevaks. Muslims living in the town are worried about their safety.

A senior police officer said the Ayodhya (formerly Faizabad) district administration had imposed prohibitory orders (section 144) in the acquired area of the Ram Janambhoomi-Babri Masjid premises.

First Published: Nov 24, 2018 09:27 IST

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