In tense Ayodhya, Uddhav dares ‘sleeping’ Modi govt.

Pushes for Ram temple construction as city readies for VHP ‘Dharma Sabha’

Updated - December 03, 2021 10:16 am IST

Published - November 24, 2018 11:17 pm IST - AYODHYA

Making a pitch: Uddhav Thackeray, left, greeting Mahant Nritya Gopal Das in Ayodhya on Saturday.

Making a pitch: Uddhav Thackeray, left, greeting Mahant Nritya Gopal Das in Ayodhya on Saturday.

Raising the pitch for the construction of a Ram temple in Ayodhya, Shiv Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray on Saturday likened the Narendra Modi government to a modern version of the somnolent Ramayan character, Kumbhakarna, saying it has been sleeping on the issue for the last four years.

Mr. Thackeray, who was here with Sena workers ahead of the ‘Dharma Sabha’ organised by the VHP on Sunday, told reporters that the purpose of his visit was not politics or elections but to “awaken the sleeping Kumbhakarna.”

Virtual fortress

Ayodhya was virtually turned into a fortress on Saturday with multiple layers of security, as more than one lakh people are expected to attend the VHP event. More than 45 companies of the PAC, nine companies of the RAF, two teams of ATS commandos, 700 constables and 160 inspectors have been deployed, ADG (Law and Order) Anand Kumar said.


Apprehending violence, many Muslim families have left. “In 1992, there was a larger force; yet Babri [mosque] was demolished. We don’t trust the situation,” said Jumman, a resident of the Ashrafi Bhawan area, who has moved to Faizabad with his family.

Iqbal Ansari, a litigant in the Babri Masjid case, said the VHP gathering made a mockery of the law. He said the VHP did not intend to find a solution to the issue.

Ayodhya Municipal Corporation Mayor Rishikesh Upadhyay, however, said there was no fear or apprehension among the Muslims. “Some vested interests, who seeing that all their plans may fail to reap political dividends, have started spreading rumours,” he said.

Speaking to reporters at Lakshman Kila, Mr. Thackeray said while the Kumbhkarna of Ramayan would sleep for six months in a year, the “Kumbhkarna of this age has been sleeping for four years.”

The Sena chief dared the Modi government to announce a date for the construction for a temple at the disputed site. He however, said the Sena would support an ordinance or law for the temple construction, saying the Modi government had the mandate as well as the support of the State government. “Let’s come together and construct a temple. You can take the credit. I take oath in front of the seers that after the temple is built, I will come as a Ram bhakt.”

Akhilesh for Army

Samajwadi Party chief Akhilesh Yadav has asked for the Army to be deployed in Ayodhya, saying the BJP and its allies can cross any limit. Talking to reporters on Friday, Mr. Yadav said, “The Supreme Court should take notice of the situation in Uttar Pradesh.”

Bahujan Samaj Party chief Mayawati slammed the BJP and the Shiv Sena, saying they were raking up the Ram temple issue ahead of the Lok Sabha polls to divert attention from their failures.

“The biggest question is when Section 144 is imposed in a district, how come lakhs of people arrived there,” U.P. Cabinet Minister Om Prakash Rajbhar, an ally of the BJP, asked in a tweet.

Litigant upset with leaders

The Muslim litigant in the Ram Janmabhoomi-Babri Masjid title suit, Iqbal Ansari, on Saturday said he was satisfied with the security arrangements in Ayodhya ahead of the VHP ‘Dharam Sabha’, but questioned the intention of the leaders in bringing such large crowds to the town.

“If anyone has any issue on the matter of temple-mosque, he/she should go to Delhi and Lucknow to express their views...and leave the people of Ayodhya in peace,” said Mr. Ansari, who succeeded his father the late Hashim Ansari as the main litigant.

( With PTI inputs )

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