After missing out on an invite for Wednesday’s bhumi pujan of the Ram temple in Ayodhya, Shiv Sena workers are likely hold muted celebrations in various parts of the state in their individual capacities.
The party, however, has managed to send a token representation to Ayodhya, with a group of Shiv Sainiks carrying soil from Smriti Sthal at Shivaji Park in Dadar, where late Sena patriarch Balasaheb Thackeray was cremated, to celebrate the bhumi pujan.
Party leaders said Sena corporator Vikram Pratap Singh from Mira Bhayander Municipal Corporation reached Ayodhya on Tuesday with other Shiv Sainiks with the soil from Smriti Sthal. “They will light lamps on Sarayu river and immerse the soil in the river on Wednesday to mark the bhumi pujan,” said a leader.
Shiv Sena chief and Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray has not been invited for the bhumi pujan function. Sources said that with the party chief not invited, the Sainiks are likely to celebrate the occasion in their individual capacities. “The party has not issued any instructions yet on celebrations. People from many parties, including Sena, BJP and Congress, had taken part in the Ram temple movement. So, Hindus will celebrate in their own capacities,” said a Sena leader.
Another said that local leaders in some places like Aurangabad have asked Shiv Sainiks to pray before Ram’s image or hoist saffron flags atop their houses.
The Sena has always been vocal about the role that it had played in the demolition of the Babri Masjid. In the first chargesheet filed by the CBI in 1993 after the demolition of the mosque, of the 48 people named, eight were associated with Sena, including then party chief Balasaheb Thackeray.
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