Uddhav Thackeray to BJP: Build Ram Mandir or admit it was also a ‘jumla’https://indianexpress.com/article/india/uddhav-thackeray-to-bjp-build-ram-mandir-or-admit-it-was-also-a-jumla-5408082/

Uddhav Thackeray to BJP: Build Ram Mandir or admit it was also a ‘jumla’

Thackeray sought to know why Modi had not visited Ayodhya in the past four and half years, after becoming the prime minister.

Uddhav Thackeray to BJP: Build Ram Mandir or admit it was also a 'jumla'
Shivsena chief Uddhav Thackeray addresses Annual Dussehra Rally at Shivaji Park in Mumbai. (Express photo by Prashant Nadkar)

Shiv Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray on Thursday launched a frontal attack on the BJP-led central government, saying that the saffron party should either build the Ram Temple or admit that it was also a ‘jumla’ (gimmick).

“I will go to Ayodhya on November 25. I will ask questions to the prime minister (over alleged delay in constructing the temple)…We are not enemies of the prime minister, but we don’t want to play with the emotions of the people,” Thackeray told a huge gathering of the party workers during a Dussehra event at Shivaji Park in Mumbai.

He also sought to know why Modi had not visited Ayodhya in the past four and half years, after becoming the prime minister.

Thackeray, who said a “2014-like wave” is not prevailing in the country, asked Sena workers to be prepared for polls. The BJP and the Shiv Sena have been in a strained relationship despite sharing power at the Centre and the state.

Uddhav also spoke about the ongoing #MeToo movement that is sweeping across the country. “Our party stands with all the women who spoke out against sexual harassment and abuse,” news agency ANI quoted him as saying.

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Asked why his party has remained in the coalition with the BJP despite being so critical of the prime minister, Thackeray said, “You ask us to walk out of the government (when the Sena criticises the government)… Why don’t you ask the RSS to tell the BJP to walk out of the government now (for its criticism by the Sangh)?”

“Now the RSS (Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh) is also speaking the same language as ours… Recently, RSS leader Suresh Bhaiyyaji Joshi said it is the duty of Raja (king) to keep people happy. We all know who is the king in democracy,” he added.

Thackeray also hit out at the Centre over price rise, delay in abolishing Article 370 from Kashmir and for not taking a tough stand against Pakistan.

The Sena, BJP’s bickering ally, has been consistently criticising the saffron party over its unfulfilled promise of a Ram Temple in Ayodhya, and has suggested that the union government bring an ordinance for the temple’s construction. Shiv Sena MP Sanjay Raut’s recent visit to Ayodhya is being seen as laying of groundwork for Uddhav’s visit.

(With PTI inputs)

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