Mumbai, September 16: Shiv Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray on Monday demanded that the Centre take a “courageous” decision to bring in a law to build a Ram Temple in Ayodhya.
The Sena’s latest demand is seen as a pressure tactic on its ally BJP with which it is involved in contentious seat sharing talks for the upcoming assembly elections in Maharashtra. The Sena leadership has been annoyed by statements from BJP leaders that the regional party could get fewer seats to contest.
“It has been our demand from last year that a special law must be brought in and Ram Mandir should be built… The issue has been going on since 1992. How many years should we wait? We are hearing that the issue is in the final stages in the court. We appeal to the courts to give it decision on the issue. However, beyond that we expect that Centre should not wait for court order and use it powers. The Centre took a courageous step in abrogating Article 370. It is out request that the Centre would do the same for Ram Mandir issue.” Thackeray told reporters at the Sena’s headquarters in Mumbai.
The Sena has been pushing the BJP since last year over its poll promise of building a Ram Temple in Ayodhya. Thackeray along with his family has visited the makeshift temple on Ayodhya on two occasions since November 2018. The Sena also got BJP to reiterate its promise while announcing alliance between them in February 2019.
Thackeray has also asked Sena cadre to be ready to lay the first brick of the Ram temple soon.
“We have instructed the Shiv Sena cadre to be prepared to lay the foundation stone for the Ram temple at Ayodhya. This is an issue which has existed since our founder Balasaheb Thackeray’s days,” he said.
The BJP and Sena are also at loggerheads over the issue of Metro car depot at Aarey Milk Colony in the Mumbai suburb of Goregaon. Thackeray’s son and the Sena’s youth leader Aaditya has opposed a car depot on a 30 hectare plot in Aarey. However, chief minister Devendra Fadnavis has said that it is government land and not a forest land and therefore it should go ahead.
Thackeray backed his son over the opposition to the car depot “Whatever happened in the case of Nanar (oil refinery project) the same will happen to Aarey,” hinting that it will get the project scrapped like it arm twisted the BJP government to scrap the oil refinery project in Nanar, Ratnagiri.
Thackeray also demanded that strong action should be taken against Pakistan for atrocities on Hindus in that country. “The incidents which are happening in Pakistan cannot just be condemned in words. Strong action is required to be taken against Pakistan; action was taken, looks like there is a need to increase its dosage,” he said. (Courtesy: HT)