"Had PM Modi Not Been There, Ram Temple Would Not Have Been Built": Raj Thackeray

The construction of Ram temple in Ayodhya would have remained a pending issue, Raj Thackeray said.

'Had PM Modi Not Been There, Ram Temple Would Not Have Been Built': Raj Thackeray

Maharashtra Navnirman Sena president Raj Thackeray on Saturday claimed that had Prime Minister Narendra Modi not been there, the Ayodhya Ram temple would not have been built despite the Supreme Court's order.

Talking to reporters here, Mr Thackeray, who has declared unconditional support to PM Modi for the upcoming Lok Sabha elections, said MNS will prepare a list of leaders the 'Mahayuti' alliance can contact for poll coordination.

Mr Thackeray, however, parried questions on whether he will address rallies for the Mahayuti, Maharashtra's ruling alliance of BJP, Shiv Sena and NCP.

Mr Thackeray said he met his party men, office-bearers and frontal organisations, and asked them to canvass for Mahayuti-backed candidates, hoping that MNS leaders will get due respect.

Lok Sabha elections in Maharashtra, which elects 48 MPs, will be held in five phases between April 19 and May 20.

"Had Narendra Modi not been there, Ram temple would not have been built, even after the Supreme Court's order. It would have remained as a pending issue," Mr Thackeray said.

In a historic decision in November 2019, the Supreme Court cleared legal hurdles in the construction of a Ram temple at the disputed site in Ayodhya. The consecration of the Ram temple took place on January 22 this year.

Mr Thackeray said the matter concerning the building of the Ram temple was pending since 1992 when the Babri mosque was pulled down.

"Certain good things that happen need to be lauded. On the one hand, there is an inefficient (leadership) and on the other hand, there is strong leadership. So we thought of supporting Narendra Modi," Mr Thackeray said, explaining his party's alignment with the BJP.

Hitting back at the Shiv Sena (UBT), led by his estranged cousin Uddhav Thackeray, for "picking holes" in his support to PM Modi, the MNS chief said they have "jaundiced eyes".

Mr Thackeray said he has certain demands about Maharashtra, including giving classical language status to Marathi and restoration of forts in the state which will be conveyed to the BJP.

He said it is obvious that Gujarat is dearer to PM Modi as he hails from there. But he should also focus on other states in the same manner, added the MNS chief. 

(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)