On his second visit to Ayodhya after becoming a minister in the Maharashtra government, Shiv Sena leader Aaditya Thackeray on Wednesday said his visit should not be linked to politics as he had come to seek Lord Ram’s blessings.
Expressing his wish to establish “Ram Rajya in order to serve people better”, the 32-year-old son of Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray said his party has been associated with Ayodhya and Ram Temple movement with Shri Ram being in their hearts. “Ayodhya is the centre of faith in India. In 2018, we gave this slogan — first temple, then government. After Shiv Sena’s slogan, the way for the construction of the temple was cleared. Now, the Ram temple is being built on the orders of the Supreme Court… We are connected to this place, its people here, and Bhagwan Shri Ram is in our hearts… We have to establish Ram Rajya so that we could serve people better,” he said.
“Our visit (to Ayodhya) is not related to any election. Also, it is not a political matter. For us, it is a matter of faith,” Thackeray, who was accompanied by party leaders Sanjay Raut and Eknath Shinde told mediapersons, before heading to Hanumangarhi to offer puja.
The Thackeray scion’s visit to the temple town assumes significance as ally-turned-rival BJP has been accusing Shiv Sena of abandoning the Hindutva cause by joining hands with the
Congress and NCP to form the government in Maharashtra.
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Also, Aaditya Thackeray’s visit comes days after Maharashtra Navnirman Sena (MNS) chief and his uncle, Raj Thackeray, cancelled his Ayodhya trip, citing health reasons. The MNS chief has also been accusing the Sena of abandoning the Hindutva cause.
With the BJP taking credit for the construction of the Ram temple in Ayodhya, Aaditya said, “We (Shiv Sena) had demanded for a special law to build Ram temple but it did not happen in the Parliament. But after the Supreme Court’s decision, the temple is currently being built. We are happy and will take it ahead.”
During his 2018 visit to Ayodhya, Shiv Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray had taken on the Narendra Modi government over the delay in building Ram temple at the disputed site and sought a legislation or ordinance to build the temple.
Aaditya Thackeray, meanwhile, said that there was “absolute clarity” in Shiv Sena’s Hindutva. Reciting a chaupai, Thackeray said that whatever promises his party makes in the elections, it meets them.
Refusing to comment on Shiv Sena’s stand on the ongoing legal proceedings in Gyanvapi and Mathura temple cases, Aaditya said rejected reports that a section of priests in Ayodhya were opposed to his visit. “All the saints, priests and public of Ayodhya welcomed me. I’m visiting Ayodhya as a devotee and not for politics,” he said.
On the Enforcement Directorate questioning Congress leader Rahul Gandhi, Aaditya said, “All the central agencies have become prachar sahitya (advertisement literature).”
Later, Aaditya Thackeray held a meeting with party functionaries and took part in an ‘aarti’ on the banks of the Sarayu river. He arrived in Lucknow at around 11 am from where he reached Ayodhya by road. According to party officials, over 1,000 Shiv Sainiks reached the temple town during his visit.