Maharashtra BJP president Raosaheb Danve today said his party welcomed Shiv Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray's decision to visit Ayodhya later this month.
He was talking to reporters in Thane as part of his tour, Kalyan and Bhiwandi to take stock of the party's preparedness for the Lok Sabha elections next year.
Replying to a query whether the Shiv Sena has hijacked the Ram temple issue from the BJP, Mr Danve said, "Nobody can hijack issues. They do their party's work and we do ours...We welcome Uddhav Thackeray's decision to visit Ayodhya."
Mr Thackeray had announced in his party's Vijayadashmi rally in Mumbai that he would visit Ayodhya on November 25 and "question" Prime Minister Narendra Modi over the temple construction issue.
Replying to a query related to BJP MLA Anil Gote, who has announced his resignation as member of the Maharashtra Legislative Assembly as well as from the BJP, alleging that "criminals" were being inducted into the party, Mr Danve said such things happen during polls.
"Such things are expected during elections, but no one should take these matters seriously," he said.
According to him, the decision of selecting candidates rested with the party's Parliamentary Board. "But we do hear local leaders and elected representatives," he said.
Mr Gote, who represents the Dhule Assembly seat in Maharashtra, said on November 12 that he would tender his resignation next week. He has been opposing induction of some Nationalist Congress Party leaders into the BJP.
When asked about Shiv Sena's constant criticism of the BJP despite sharing power with it, Mr Danve said his party's stand has always been to take all the NDA allies along.
On Shiv Sena's demand to name the Mumbai-Nagpur Super Communication Expressway, also known as the 'Samruddhi Corridor', after party's late supremo Bal Thackeray, he said, "It will be decided by the government after taking due consent from the leaders of both the parties."
He added that during his recent tour to Nagpur, Jalna, Aurangabad and other Lok Sabha constituencies in Maharashtra, he found that satisfactory work had been done by booth level party workers.
He said he was likely to complete the tour of all the 48 Lok Sabha constituencies in Maharashtra soon and carry out a review by mid December.
Danve said the party will expand its base across all the Lok Sabha constituencies. "Our endeavour is to get the NDA candidate elected in all the constituencies."