Big replicas of Ram, Vitthala, Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj and Balasaheb Thackeray will be erected for a rally at Pandharpur in Solapur district where Shiv Sena president Uddhav Thackeray will deliver an address on the construction of the Ram temple, on Monday evening.
This comes a month after his Ayodhya visit. Sena leaders said lakhs of people from Mumbai, Konkan, western Maharashtra, Marathwada and Vidarbha will be accommodated on a 27-acre plot. Besides, there will be a separate dais for the priests, they added.
“Lord Vitthala is the state deity and is known as southern Kashi. Besides, chief minister comes to perform puja here annually. So, due to this, we have chosen Pandharpur to hold the rally,” said Anil Desai, Shiv Sena MP and party secretary.
A Sena leader said Uddhav will arrive at Pandharpur in the afternoon. “He will take blessings of Lord Vitthala at around 4pm and then will proceed to address the rally. After his speech, he will perform ‘aarti’ on the banks of Chandrabhaga river. Uddhav is likely to speak on the Ram temple, drought along with other issues,” the leader added.
Uddhav was in Ayodhya on November 24 and 25 and had asked the BJP to declare the date for construction of Ram temple. Another Sena leader said the party strategically chose Pandharpur for the rally to expand its base in western Maharashtra.
“We made all the calculations before finalising the location. Since we have decided to go solo, we need to expand our base and win more seats,” said the leader, requesting anonymity. The leader added that Uddhav was likely to hold more such rallies in Vidarbha and Marathwada in coming months.
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