Shiv Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray and his son Aditya Thackeray arrived in Ayodhya today to offer prayers at a makeshift shrine of the Ram Lalla. Eighteen Shiv Sena parliamentarian are already camping in the Uttar Pradesh city since Saturday.
The father-son duo was welcomed by Union Minister Arvind Sawant and party spokesperson Sanjay Raut. He had visited Ayodhya in November last year and asked the government led by Prime Minister Narendra Modi to announce a date for the construction of a Ram temple.
"From tomorrow Lok Sabha session will begin, so before entering parliament all Shiv Sena parliamentarians have come here to take the blessings of Ram Lalla. We strongly believe that a temple will be constructed at the earliest," Uddhav Thackeray told reporters, according to news agency ANI.
He had said his party will back any ordinance for building the temple. "We are saying bring ordinance. I'm confident that a Ram Temple will be constructed for sure. I'm here for the second time... This place is such that you want to keep coming back. The government has a strong mandate and there's no one stopping them. The government's decision will not be stopped by anyone. The Hindus of the country and the world want this (Ram Temple)," said Mr Thackeray, ANI reported.
In November last year, Ayodhya had turned into a fortress after the Vishwa Hindu Parishad held a massive gathering to mobilise support for the building of a Ram temple. The meet demanded that the government pass an ordinance or executive order to bypass the legal process.
The Ayodhya title suit is pending in the Supreme Court.
"Shri Uddhav Thackeray ji had promised to return to Ayodhya after elections for Ram Lalla Darshan, today he fulfills that promise along with @AUThackeray ji & elected MPs of the party," Shiv Sena leader Priyanka Chaturvedi tweeted this morning.
Uddhav Thackeray was also in Ayodhya in November. He had said his two-day visit was not linked to the VHP event. It was the Sena chief's first visit to the temple town, a pilgrimage to seek 'darshan' of Ram Lalla.
The Ram Janmabhoomi-Babri Masjid dispute is not an issue of land but one of "sentiment and faith", the Supreme Court said on March 6 as it heard the response of various petitioners to its suggestion that mediation can help resolve the decades-old row. "It is not only about property. It is about mind, heart and healing, if possible," a bench headed by Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi had said and reserved its decision on referring the case to a court-appointed mediator.
With inputs from ANI
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