Haven’t remembered Ram temple suddenly: Uddhav

Says he is going to Ayodhya to remind BJP of its promise

Published - November 21, 2018 12:31 am IST - Mumbai

Shiv Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray inaugurating the BMC’s new press room on Tuesday.

Shiv Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray inaugurating the BMC’s new press room on Tuesday.

“People ask me why I took up Ayodhya just ahead of the election. I haven’t remembered this (Ram Mandir) all of a sudden. I am going there to remind someone (of what they had promised),” Shiv Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray said here on Tuesday, taking potshots at the BJP. Mr. Thackeray was speaking at the inauguration of Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation’s new press room.

Mr. Thackeray has been in the news for his plans to hold a rally in Ayodhya later this month. The Shiv Sena even postponed plans for the bhoomipujan of the Bal Thackeray memorial on his birth anniversary this month and instead will most likely do it in January on his death anniversary.

BMC’s Vartahar Sangh completed work on its refurbished press room and had invited Mr. Thackeray for the occasion.

In his speech, Mr. Thackeray said, “When we took up Ayodhya, a lot of people raised their eyebrows. Some asked, ‘Why did you think of Ram only ahead of elections?’ I have nothing to hide. I have taken up this issue only because of elections. The reason being, for the past 25 to 30 years, every time the election is round the corner, the Ram Mandir (issue) is brought up. This time too, the same thing will happen and usually, after the election there is no sign of it. I have not remembered this (Ram Mandir) all of a sudden. But I am going there to remind this to someone… of what you had said… 4.5 years have gone by. If you were not able to do this in 4.5 years, why are you telling people that when the government comes back to power you will do it? You are saying ‘ pehle mandir, fir sarkar (temple first, government later)?’ Pehle Ram naam aur phir aram (Take the name of Ram first, rest later). That is the issue I am taking to Ayodhya. I want all Hindus to come together to build the Ram Mandir,” Mr. Thackeray said.

He said his final schedule for Ayodhya will be out in one or two days’ time.

Also present on the occasion were Municipal Commissioner Ajoy Mehta, Mayor Vishwanath Mahadeshwar and standing committee chairman Yashwant Jadhav.

The atmosphere in the country is such that it is felt journalism is being throttled, Mr. Thackeray said. “In such an atmosphere, I congratulate you for taking up the issue of giving this facility to journalists.”

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