Shiv Sena MP Arvind Sawant said on Friday his party is pushing for construction of a Ram temple in Ayodhya because it was promised by the BJP ahead of elections.
Speaking to a news channel on-board a flight to Uttar Pradesh, he said people of the country were promised that a Ram temple will be constructed in Ayodhya once the BJP comes to power at the Centre.
Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray will visit Ayodhya today amid a clamour among Hindu outfits for bringing an ordinance to build Ram Temple.
The Sena, which is part of the National Democratic Alliance (NDA) but has had strained ties with ally BJP, has demanded the Centre come out with an ordinance and declare a date for the construction of Ram temple in Ayodhya.
“We have promised to the people of the country that once we come to power Ram mandir will be constructed at Ayodhya,” Mr Sawant said.
“We are forgetting that promise. Therefore, Uddhav ji has taken this initiative. We have given the slogan ‘Har Hindu ki yahi pukaar, pehle mandir phir sarkar‘,” he added.
Meanwhile, 12 Vibhag Pramukhs/Vibhag Sanghataks (office-bearers) of the party have been tasked with organising “maha aartis” (grand prayers) simultaneously at 6 pm today at several temples in Mumbai to coincide with Uddhav Thackeray’s Ayodhya visit.
A Sena functionary, requesting anonymity, said the district administration in Ayodhya has denied permission to Uddhav Thackeray to hold a rally on November 25 in the holy town of Uttar Pradesh.
“Uddhav ji will perform an evening maha aarti on the banks of river Sarayu on November 24 and the next day will visit the site of Ram temple in Ayodhya,” he said.
The local administration has imposed CrPC section 144 in Ayodhya, restricting assembly of people, he said.
Meanwhile, former Sena MLC Ghanshyam Dube said before expanding its base in North India, the Sena should make Hindi- speaking people living in Mumbai feel safe.
Speaking to reporters in Vidhan Bhavan on Thursday, he disclosed Sena founder Bal Thackeray had confided in him that he wanted to expand the Sena’s support base in North India.
“However, after that the Sena leadership, for some strange reasons, did not trust me to do the job. Before the Ayodhya visit, the Sena should have first tried to make the North Indian community feel at home whose generations have lived here,” Mr Dube said.
According to a senior BJP minister in Maharashtra,the Sena is waiting for the results of assembly polls in three BJP-ruled states of Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh and Chhattisgarh before taking a decision on continuing in the NDA.
The results will be announced on December 11.