LUCKNOW: Attributing his ascendance to the post of Maharashtra Chief Minister to the blessings of Lord Ram, Shiv Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray claimed that he had dissociated with his ally for decades – the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) – but not Hindutva.
Thackeray, who was on a day’s trip to Ayodhya along with his wife Rashmi and son Aditya, also announced a contribution of Rs 1 crore towards the construction of the temple. He was visiting the temple town on Saturday after completing 100 days in office, accompanied by 18 MPs and 40 MLAs of his party.
The Maharashtra CM said that he had come to seek the blessing of Lord Ram along with his 'Bhagwa Parivar'. "I might have parted ways with the BJP but am still with Hindutva. Hindutva and BJP are two different entities. This has been my third visit to Ayodhya in the last 1.5 years and I shall keep coming to this place," said Thackeray amid cheers of Jai Shri Ram by his partymen. He reminded the gathering of his association with Ayodhya since the days of his father Bal Thackeray and his role in the temple movement.
Conceding that he had never even dreamt of becoming the Chief Minister of Maharashtra, Uddhav said that it was due to the blessings of Lord Ram. "Merely a year after my Ayodhya visit in November 2018, not only did the Supreme Court deliver the verdict in favour of temple but I was made the Chief Minister of Maharashtra also. It was because of the blessings of Lord Ram," said Thackeray while interacting with media persons before going to have ‘darshan’ of Ram Lalla in the makeshift temple in the Ram Janmabhoomi complex.
While making the announcement to donate Rs 1 crore towards the construction of a “grand Ram temple” in Ayodhya, the Maharashtra CM also appealed to UP CM Yogi Adityanath to allocate a piece of land to his government in Ayodhya where a Maharashtra Bhawan could be constructed to facilitate the stay of ‘Ram Bhakts’ who thronged the temple town from Maharashtra.
While Uddhav and his family reached Ayodhya by road after landing in Lucknow on Saturday morning, scores of Shiv Sainiks reached the temple town by a special train a day earlier on Friday evening.
Earlier, the Sena chief had planned to perform Aarti alongside the holy Saryu but he cancelled the programme owing to the coronavirus scare as it would have led to a huge gathering.
Meanwhile, in another development, the district authorities of Ayodhya had put a number of saints, seers and leaders of the Hindu Mahasabha (HMS) under house arrest anticipating opposition to the Sena chief visit after he joined hands with the Congress and Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) to form a government in Maharashtra.
A number of Ayodhya saints including Tapasvi Chhavni chief Mahant Paramhans Das and HMS leader Rakesh Dutt Mishra had openly opposed Uddhav Thackrey’s visit accusing him of breaching his father’s ideology and “colluding with the Congress, a party which had deemed Lord Ram an imaginary figure."