The CM said that new Ram Temple was the dream of late Balasaheb and still is of crores of Ram bhakts; Image: Republic
Maharashtra CM Eknath Shinde arrived Ayodhya on Sunday with thousands of Shiv Sena cadres and visited the newly constructed Ram Temple in the city. Also accompanied by his Deputy Devendra Fadnavis, Shinde recalled Shiv Sena founder Balasaheb Thackeray and his dream of seeing the Ram Temple in Ayodhya. In an exclusive interview with Republic, the Shinde expressed his happiness of being in the holy land and addressed the politicial turmoil in Maharashtra due to his Ayodhya visit.
Speaking to Republic, the CM said that new Ram Temple was the dream of late Balasaheb and still is of crores of Ram bhakts. "Everyone only thought of it as a dream. No one believed that it will be constructed but I thank honourable Prime Minister Narendra Modi Ji that he has established this temple which seemed like a dream. The construction is underway and soon the idol will be installed and crores of Ram bhakts will have the fortune to worship it," Shinde said. He also went on to say that the Temple is not a political issue but "a symbol of our faith and Hindutva."
When asked about those who are objecting Shinde's two-day visit to Ayodhya, he said, "those who are allergic to Ayodhya, those who are allergic to Hindutva, those who are allergic to Ram Lalla are speaking nonsense. Those who talk rubbish will receive a befitting reply from lakhs of Ram bhakts." The CM also said that just like scores of Ram devotees, he always believed that the temple will be constructed and again thanked PM Modi for bringing the dream to fruition.
"I did not come here as a CM, I came here as a Ram bhakt. And this time we came with a bow and arrow and we will return with a positive energy to serve the people of Maharashtra with full committment," Shinde said. He also took potshots at Uddhav Thackeray by drawing comparisons with Lord Ram and accusing the former Maharashtra CM of "dismantling our ideology for power." He also said that the bow and arrow, the symbol of Shiv Sena, is now in the right hands and said that he is happy to be in the city.