Uddhav Thackeray to visit Ayodhya on March 7, says Shiv Sena leader Sanjay Raut

This will be Thackeray's first visit to Ayodhya after becoming the state chief minister.

Published: 25th January 2020 02:32 PM  |   Last Updated: 25th January 2020 06:29 PM   |  A+A-

Maharashtra CM Uddhav Thackeray with son Aaditya

Maharashtra CM Uddhav Thackeray with son Aaditya (Photo | PTI)

By Express News Service

MUMBAI: Shiv Sena leader Sanjay Raut on Saturday announced the date for Maharashtra Chief Minister and Shiv Sena President Uddhav Thackeray’s Ayodhya visit.

“Ayodhya mein jallosh! March 7, 2020,” Raut said in a tweet earlier in the day.

The visit which was originally scheduled on Novermebr 24 will now take place on March 7, Raut told media later.

“The complete schedule for the Ayodhya visit has been finalised. After Ramlalla darshan Uddahv Thackeray will perform Aarati at Sharayu banks. Thousands of Shiv Sena workers would be there to witness it,” Raut said and added, this is the part of faith and should not be politicized.

“The Maha Vikas Aghadi (MVA) government shall last for all five years and Lord Ram shall bless the government,” Raut added.

He had announced earlier in the week that Uddhav Thackeray will visit Ayodhya in Uttar Pradesh to mark the completion of 100 days in power. However, he had not specified the date at that time.

Thackeray had visited Ayodhya in November 2018 ahead of the Lok Sabha elections. He visited Ayodhya again on June 15, last year. His visit now will be first after being sworn in as the CM on November 28, 2019.

The announcement of date came just days after the Raj Thackeray’s Maharashtra Navanirman Sena (MNS) adopted a Hindu hardliner stance at its mega rally.

The Shiv Sena, through party mouthpiece Saamana, had criticized newly acquired Hindutva stance of the MNS saying that “sustaining the Hindutva stance is not anybody’s job”. While the MNS led a counter offensive against the Shiv Sena, the BJP too took potshots at the Shiv Sena over Uddhav Thackeray’s proposed Ayodhya visit.

“It is good that he is going to Ayodhya. But what face will he show to Lord Ram when he asks him about abandoning Hindutva?” MNS leader Sandeep Deshpande questioned, while BJP spokesperson Sambit Patra tweeted a video of the Uddhav Thackeray’s father Balasaheb and accused Shiv Sena of making a U-Turn from Balasaheb’s ideologies. He also asked whether Congress leader Rahul Gandhi go with Thackeray.

“Why? Is the BJP taking [PDP chief] Mehbooba Mufti with them? There is no point of such criticism. The Congress party has welcomed the Supreme Court verdict on Ayodhya,” Raut replied in return.

“Congress president Sonai Gandhi, Rahul Gandhi, NCP chief Sharad Pawar had all hailed the SC verdict on Ram Mandir. I’ve heard that they all had advocated building Ram Mandir. We shall certainly appeal them to join the visit. But, as I have already said the visit is all about faith and not the politics,” Raut added.

The Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) legislator and state cabinet minister Jitendra Awhad said there is nothing wrong with the visit as it is a matter of personal faith.

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