MUMBAI: Nationalist Congress Party leader Majeed Memon on Tuesday claimed that Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray had been invited for `bhoomi pujan' of Ram Temple in Ayodhya, but advised him to refrain from "promoting a particular religious activity".
The NCP, however, immediately distanced itself from the remark.
"Uddhav Thakrey is among invitees for bhoomi pujan of Ram Temple. He may participate respecting Covid-19 restrictions in his personal capacity. The head of a secular democracy should refrain from promoting a particular religious activity," Memon, who is a lawyer and former Rajya Sabha member, tweeted.
"It is his (Memon's) personal opinion. Party's position is clear that after the SC verdict the dispute is over. Hence, whoever wants to attend the ceremony can do so," NCP spokesperson Sanjay Tatkare said.
The Thackeray-led Shiv Sena and NCP, alongwith the Congress, are part of the ruling coalition in Maharashtra.
The Sena has always explicitly supported the construction of Ram Temple in Ayodhya.
The Sena's Rajya Sabha member Sanjay Raut said earlier in the day that Thackeray will "definitely" attend the bhoomi-pujan or ground-breaking ceremony in Ayodhya on August 5.
Asked whether Thackeray had received an invitation for the ceremony, Raut said, "It will come."
The apex court in November last year allowed the construction of Ram Temple through a trust at the disputed site in Ayodhya.