Ahead of the Maharashtra assembly polls, Shiv Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray, in a rally on Dussehra, once again reiterated his party’s strong commitment towards seeing the construction of the Ram Temple in Ayodhya. He also demanded the enactment of a special law to facilitate the construction of the temple. This comes after PM Modi advised everyone to avoid speaking on the issue and have faith in the Supreme Court. Apart from this, Thackeray justified Shiv Sena’s unwavering alliance with BJP for the upcoming Assembly elections. Additionally, he also promised that his party is committed to providing reservations to the Dhangar (shepherd) community.
Speaking at a rally in Nashik, PM Modi had advised all the political leaders to stop speaking on the matter as it is sub judice and the Supreme Court is still hearing the case. However, Uddhav Thackeray said, "Courts have a holiday on the day when Lord Ram killed Ravan (on Dussehra). Courts are also closed the day when Ram returned to Ayodhya (on Diwali) after killing Ravan. The only issue of contention now is whether Ram was born in Ayodhya”.
"The Supreme Court verdict is expected this month. But our demand remains that a special law be enacted for construction of a Ram mandir in Ayodhya. We are committed to the construction of the temple. It's been 30 years that the matter is in court. We don't want Ram temple for votes, but it is a demand of all Hindus," he added.
PM Modi in his speech at Nashik had said, “I am amazed at the 'bayan bahadurs and badbole' (loudmouths) on the Ram Mandir issue. Everyone in the country respects the Supreme Court. The apex court is hearing the case. I want to tell these people with folded hands to have faith in the judicial system”.
Shiv Sena and BJP are set to contest the upcoming Maharashtra assembly polls together. The seat-sharing between the two parties will be 164 to 124, where Shiv Sena is the junior ally. Speaking about the alliance, Uddhav Thackeray said, “The Shiv Sena doesn't bow before anyone except Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj and the Marathi-speaking people. We did make some compromises for the alliance to happen, but they were in the interest of Maharashtra. I apologise to the Shiv Sainiks whose seats have gone to the allies. You have to continue working hard to make the party strong and work to ensure its victory”.
(With PTI Inputs)