SHIV SENA president Uddhav Thackeray said on Friday that the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) should bring down the government if it felt the need to hold protests for the construction of a Ram temple in Ayodhya despite having a strong government at the Centre.
“If you feel the need to hold a protest despite having a strong government, why do you not pull down the government?” Thackeray asked the RSS while addressing mediapersons at Sena headquarters in Mumbai.
The remarks came in response to RSS general secretary Bhaiyyaji Joshi’s comments on Friday that the organisation would start an agitation, if necessary, for the construction of a Ram temple in Ayodhya.
“The issue of Ram temple was put on the back-burner after the BJP government came to power in 2014. When the Sena took up this issue, the RSS now feels the need to hold protests to press for the demand,” said Thackeray, who is set to visit Ayodhya on November 25.
In a meeting between Thackeray and party legislators, leaders and district office-bearers on Friday, the issue of Ram temple and drought and relief measures were discussed.
Sources in the Sena said that three control rooms would be set up for Thackeray’s visit to Ayodhya. “The control rooms will be set up in Mumbai, Lucknow and Ayodhya. It is to ensure the safe and peaceful journey of the people who are going to Ayodhya from Maharashtra,” said a senior leader.
Another leader said that attempts are underway to gather a large number of people in Ayodhya during Thackeray’s visit. “The party president will reach Ayodhya on November 24 and he is likely to address a rally on November 25. However, the date will be finalised after the Sena patriarch’s death anniversary on November 17,” he added.
Earlier this week, a delegation of Shiv Sena leaders, including MP Sanjay Raut, Minister Eknath Shinde and others had gone to Ayodhya to review preparations for the visit. “This is not a political agenda but a religious issue for us. Uddhavji has been wanting to visit Ayodhya for a long time and now the date has been announced,” said Raut.
Meanwhile, Thackeray, who has said that he would tour drought-hit areas in the state, also told party legislators and workers to help the affected people.