Written by Sanjana Bhalerao
SHIV SENA chief Uddhav Thackeray on Tuesday said he is visiting Ayodhya for the elections to remind the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) that it has forgotten the promise of building the Ram temple. “Many are questioning why we (Shiv Sena) remembered Ram now, when the elections are nearing. Why should I hide it? I have taken up this issue because of the elections only. I am going to Ayodhya to remind the BJP about the promise,” Thackeray said in the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) on Tuesday. The Opposition parties have criticised Thackery’s plan to visit Ayodhya, calling it “stunts” ahead of the elections. Maharashtra Congress president Ashok Chavan had alleged that Thackeray’s visit is poltically motivated and meant to polarise votes.
With his maiden visit to Ayodhya round the corner (November 24 and 25), Thackeray challenged the BJP government to build the “Ram Mandir” in the next five months. “What had you (BJP) promised before the elections? It has been four-and-a-half-years now. If they can’t build the temple in the next five months, then the BJP should stop fooling people with false promises.”
Thackeray also came up with a slogan. “First the temple and then the government,” Thackeray said at the press room inauguration in the civic body on Tuesday.
Despite being part of the government in the state and the Centre, Thackeray has criticised the BJP government on many fronts. The latest being the killing of the tigress Avni and not fulfilling its poll promise of constructing the Ram temple. The Sena chief, in his annual Dusshera speech, had questioned Prime Minister Narendra Modi on his intent to construct the Ram temple.