Mumbai: Stung by the Yogi Adityanath government’s plans to reign in Uddhav Thackeray’s Ayodhya visit, the Shiv Sena has lashed out at the BJP on Friday and said instead of wasting time in conspiring against its own ally, the party should declare the date of building Ram Mandir.
“Uddhav Thackeray’s visit has caused paralysis for many. They are scared that their ‘bread and butter’ issue of Ram Mandir for 2019, will be affected. That is why they are making attempts to stop Shiv Sena,” the party said in an editorial in its mouthpiece Saamana.
The Sena said that it would not need BJP’s permission for a darshan of Ram and won’t ask for a visa to visit the disputed Babri Masjid-Ram Janmabhoomi site. “Ayodhya is not in Mecca-Madina. It is in our Hindu bhoomi itself. Then why are the saffron clothes of some people turning white with worry?” the editorial further said.
In a tongue-in-cheek comment, it said that Ram Mandir wasn’t a jumla for them.
“Shiv Sainiks from Maharashtra and from India aren’t reaching Ayodhya to play politics on the issue. We don’t roam around with a begging bowl for votes by taking Lord Ram’s name. The jumlebaazi and shouting of slogans on Ram Mandir only during elections isn’t in our blood,” it added.
It also challenged the BJP to bring in an ordinance and declare the date of Ram Mandir construction.
The stunning attack came after the Yogi Adityanath government denied permission to Uddhav Thackeray to hold a public rally in Ayodhya.
The administration, while denying permission for the Saturday’s rally, said the venue – Ram Katha Park – was too close to the disputed site and it fears any caustic remarks on Ram Mandir could stoke tensions in the sensitive area.
Although Shiv Sena denied seeking any permissions from the government, the editorial in Saamana nonetheless targeted the BJP for attempting to connive against Thackeray.
The denial of permission comes as the two allies – Shiv Sena and BJP – are looking at the Ram temple issue to outdo each other in proving who’s “more Hindu” ahead of the general elections.
Sources said that the Sena wants to make its presence felt in Uttar Pradesh and win over those disgruntled Hindus who are upset with the BJP. It also plans to contest Lok Sabha elections from select seats in the state.
Although Sena’s new-found aggression may not be that big of a threat to the BJP outside Maharashtra, political experts opined that it can clearly embarrass the saffron party as far as its commitment to the cause of Hindutva is concerned.
Shiv Sena is also peeved that Vishwa Hindu Parishad’s own show of strength in Ayodhya has been backed by the BJP and RSS despite it clashing with Thackeray’s visit.