Ram temple is not a political issue, Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis said Sunday and expressed hope that Shiv Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray, who is in Ayodhya, would get the blessings of Lord Ram.
A senior Bharatiya Janata Party leader also said that the Sena, which is its ally at the Centre and in Maharashtra, will remain its partner for the Maharashtra and the Lok Sabha polls due next year.
Thackeray, who offered prayers at the Ram Lalla temple in Ayodhya on Sunday, said the BJP government at the Centre "may not last" if Ram temple is not constructed in the Uttar Pradesh city, and demanded that an ordinance be brought to pave for its way.
"The construction of Ram temple in Ayodhya is not a political issue. Shri Ram is the deity for entire India, Thackeray would get his blessings too," Fadnavis told reporters at Karad in Maharashtra's Satara district.
He was speaking after paying tributes at the memorial of late Y B Chavan, the state's first chief minister.
Nationalist Congress Party chief Sharad Pawar also paid floral tributes to Chavan in Karad along with senior leaders of the party from the region.
Meanwhile, Maharashtra BJP chief Raosaheb Danve said the Shiv Sena's stand on the construction of Ram temple supports the BJP and asserted that both the parties will jointly contest the next year's state and general polls.
"It is not like the Sena has backed the BJP recently, but we have been together for decades," Danve told reporters in Jalna district.
The Sena has demanded that an ordinance be brought before 2019 for constructing the temple.
Dashing it aside, Danve said, "The dispute related to temple or mosque is in court. Hence, despite being in power there are limitations to what a government can do."
One has to coin some slogans while undertaking an activity like visiting Ayodhya, "which does not mean we have severe differences with each other", said the Lok Sabha member from Jalna constituency.
"To avoid division of votes, the Sena is going to be our partner for the general and assembly elections," he said.
The Sena had said earlier that it will fight all the upcoming elections solo.