Uddhav Thackeray to not hold public rally at Ayodhya on 25 November; Shiv Sena chief will take part in rituals, meet party cadre
Thackeray is set to visit Ayodhya on 24 and 15 November to remind Prime Minister Narendra Modi and the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) government that Ram Temple needs to be constructed.
Ahead of Shiv Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray's visit to Ayodhya, the party on Tuesday said there will be no public rally in the state. However, he will take part in rituals near the Saryu river and address sainiks and others present at the venue. Uddhav is set to visit Ayodhya on 24 and 25 November to remind Prime Minister Narendra Modi and the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) government at the Centre that the Ram Temple needs to be constructed.
The party had earlier announced a rally on 25 November, but the Uttar Pradesh government has not yet given permission for the same, reported Hindustan Times.
Uddhav in October had announced during the Shiv Sena's Vijayadashmi rally that he will visit Ayodhya on 25 November and "question" Modi on the issue of the construction of the Ram temple.
On Wednesday, Uddhav's close aide Harshal Pradhan announced that the Shiv Sena chief will carry soil from Shivneri fort, the birthplace of Maratha warrior king Chhatrapati Shivaji, to Ayodhya during his visit.
"Shivaji Maharaj is an idol not only for the Sena but for the entire country. Balasaheb Thackeray (late Sena patriarch) had always striven to work in accordance with his ideals, which Uddhav continues to do now. Uddhav will carry the soil from Shivneri fort with him in an urn to Ayodhya as Chhatrapati Shivaji's blessings and also because the issue of Ram temple is very close to his heart," he said.
Uddhav had said on Tuesday that he had not yet decided if he would hold a rally in Ayodhya. In a bid to intensify his party's campaign for the Ram temple in Ayodhya, Thackeray has given a new slogan — 'Pehle mandir, fir sarkaar' (first the temple, then the government).
On 29 October, the Supreme Court adjourned the hearing of the Ayodhya title suit case until January 2019. The apex court had adjourned the matter, which challenged the Allahabad High Court verdict of 2010 that ruled that the disputed land in Ayodhya should be divided into three parts for each party — the Sunni Waqf Board, the Nirmohi Akhara and Ram Lala.
The Babri Masjid in Ayodhya was demolished on 6 December, 1992 by a group of Hindu activists, who claim that the mosque was constructed by Mughal king Babur after demolishing a Ram Temple that originally stood there. Since then, several hearings have been held in the top court to resolve the issue.
Maharashtra deputy chief minister and senior NCP leader Ajit Pawar and senior Congress leader Ashok Chavan also accompanied Thackeray during the meeting with the prime minister
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