Uddhav Thackeray's visit to Ayodhya comes just a day before the commencement of the first session of the 17th Lok Sabha. The Shiv Sena contested elections in an agreement with the BJP and won 18 of the 48 parliamentary seats in Maharashtra. The BJP bagged 23 seats.
Shiv Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray on Sunday offered prayers to Ram Lalla in Ayodhya along with his son Aditya and newly-elected 18 Lok Sabha MPs, making a fresh pitch for the construction of a Ram Mandir at the same place where the controversial 16th Century Babri Masjid once stood. This was Thackeray’s second visit to the temple town within eight months and first after the declaration of the general elections results. Thackeray had during his November visit promises that he will visit again after elections.
Thackeray, who reached Ayodhya this morning, first met newly-elected 18 Lok Sabha MPs of Shiv Sena, who are here since Saturday evening, and then paid obeisance at the makeshift temple.
The visit also comes just a day before the commencement of the first session of the 17th Lok Sabha. The Shiv Sena contested elections in an agreement with the BJP and won 18 of the 48 parliamentary seats in Maharashtra. The BJP bagged 23 seats.
Shiv Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray leaves after offering prayer at Ram Lalla temple in Ayodhya. His son Aditya Thackeray, & Shiv Sena MP Sanjay Raut also present. pic.twitter.com/xxyO7u42zR
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Maharashtra which is currently being ruled by the BJP-Shiv Sena will go to polls later this year. Thackeray’s latest visit to Ayodhya is being seen as an attempt by the Shive Sena to put pressure on ally BJP on the Ram Temple issue. But Shiv Sena has maintained that Thackeray’s visit should not be seen through the electoral lens.
“The visit should not been seen from the electoral lens and it was a matter of devotion and faith,” Sena leader Anil Singh said. Uddhav Thackeray will also hold a press conference in Ayodhya after visiting Ram Lalla.
Meanwhile, party leader Sanjay Raut said that Thackeray is fulfilling the promise he made in November that he will visit again after general elections.
“Ram Lalla is not a subject for politics but it is a matter of our faith. We have not sought votes in the name of Ram and will not do so in the future. When he (Uddhav) visited Ayodhya in November he promised to come again after elections. He is fulfilling his promise,” he said.
On the construction of a grand Ram temple in Ayodhya, Raut said that it will be constructed in PM Narendra Modi Modi and Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath’s leadership. The BJP will decide on it.
“The majority in 2019 is for construction of Ram temple. In Rajya Sabha too we will get majority by 2020,” Raut said.
Last Friday, Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Adityanath visited Ayodhya to offer prayers at the makeshift Ram Lalla temple. His visit, the first after the Lok Sabha election results, was aimed at reiterating support for the construction of a Ram temple. The Ram Janmabhoomi-Babri Masjid case is being heard by the Supreme Court.