Stressing that his party had faith in the apex court, Thackeray added, "But this case is pending in the court for several years.
A day after Prime Minister Narendra Modi asked “loudmouths” to refrain from making statements on the Ram Temple issue while the judicial process is on, Shiv Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray on Friday said his party’s stand on the issue mirrored “sentiments of Hindus”. “I am amazed at the ‘bayan bahadurs and badbole’ (loudmouths) on the Ram Mandir issue. Every one in the country respects the Supreme Court. The apex court is hearing the case. I want to tell these people with folded hands to have faith in the judicial system,” Modi said at a rally in Nashik on Thursday. Asked for his reaction on the PM’s remarks, Thackeray, a BJP ally, said, “Who was he (Modi) referring to? I am not indulging in `bayan-baazi’.
I am just highlighting the sentiments of Hindus.” While Modi did not name anyone, a section of the media claimed that it was a rap on the knuckles for the ally Sena, which is often seen taking a strident stand on the Ayodhya issue, seeking an ordinance to construct the temple. Stressing that his party had faith in the apex court, Thackeray added, “But this case is pending in the court for several years. I had gone to Ayodhya last year, and even now, before the (Maharashtra) Assembly polls, I have a wish to go to the temple town again.” “I am not announcing anything (about visit to Ayodhya) as I haven’t decided as yet,” he added.
Thackeray said that during his visit to Ayodhya, he had demanded that the (Union) government show courage and “intervene” if there was delay in the court order. “If the prime minister feels the verdict will be out soon and we have to be more patient and wait, it is fair enough,” the Sena chief added. On being asked if the PM’s praise of Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis for providing a stable government despite not having a majority was attempted put-down for the Sena, Thackeray said the remarks were in the context of no party crossing the halfway mark in 2014 assembly polls. “Shiv Sena has never betrayed the government. It has given full support and participation for development works over five years,” he said, adding that “there was a brief period where Sena ministers threatened to resign”.
Thackeray went on to claim that the aborted Nanar refinery plan, dropped because of Sena’s opposition, and the Aarey metro car shed plan, also opposed by his party, would not affect the alliance with the BJP. “Nanar refinery issue is a closed chapter. We opposed the project because locals didn’t want it. I don’t think there is any change in the mindset of the people. We are not opposing the metro project or the car shed. The only thing is that we don’t want it in Aarey forest,” Thackeray said. Meanwhile, Kishore Tiwari, farm activist from Vidarbha and chairman of the state government’s task force on agriculture, joined the Sena in Thackeray’s presence on Friday.