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Published On: Sat, Nov 24th, 2018

“Today’s Kumbhakarna has been sleeping for the past 4 years” : Uddhav Thackeray

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ayodhyay02NEW DELHI/AYODHYA : Shiv Sena Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray on his maiden visit to Ayodhya on Saturday  wants Prime Minister Narendra Modi to announce a date when the construction of the Ram temple will begin. “First say when will you construct the temple, the rest we will talk later,” he said in what sounded like a dare to the BJP ahead of next year’s Lok Sabha elections.

Mr Thackeray along with his wife Rashmi and son Aditya participated in aart along the banks of the Sarayu river. Thackeray attempted to shake the BJP, its long time ally, out of a ‘Kumbhakarna’ like slumber and declare the date for the construction of the Ram temple.
Thackeray and scores of Sena supporters arrived here just a day ahead of the Dharam Sabha being organised separately by the Vishwa Hindu Parishad to push for the construction of a Ram temple on the disputed site. Targeting the BJP, Thackeray said he is here to “wake up Kumbhakarna who has been asleep for four years”. Declaring his intent, Uddhav said though this is his first visit to the temple town it won’t be his last.
He urged the BJP government at the Centre to bring legislation or an ordinance for construction of the Ram temple, saying his party will support it.“Days, months, years and generations have passed… Mandir wahin baneyange, par date nahin batayenge (You say you will make the temple there, but won’t tell us the date). First say when you will construct the temple, the rest we will talk later,” he said in what sounded like a dare to the BJP.
Indirectly comparing Modi, or his government, to the Ramayana character Kumbhkarna known for sleeping for months at a stretch, uddhav said, “Today’s Kumbhakarna has been sleeping for the past four years.”He said bringing a law on the temple’s construction may have been difficult during Atal Bihari Vajpayee’s term as it was a coalition government then. But the current government is strong, he said.

The Sena chief said he did not want to take the credit for the temple construction, and others were free to do so. “But how many years should we wait for the temple?”Ram Janmabhoomi-Babri Masjid land case before the Supreme Court.The apex court had citing “other priorities” said it will set the dates for the future course of hearings only in January. Uddhav coined a new slogan, “Har Hindu ki yahi pukar, pehle mandir fir sarkar”.
Sena Chief recalled former prime minister Vajpayee as saying, ‘Ab Hindu maat nahi khayega (Hindus will not be defeated now), and added, “Hindus will not sit silent.” The Sena chief was greeted with slogans of “Jai Shri Ram” when he arrived in Ayodhya with his wife Rashmi and son Aditya. After his remarks at Lakshman Kila, he, along with his family, went to the banks of the Saryu river in the evening to offer prayers. The Sena is believed to have sent in about 3,000 party supporters from Maharashtra by two trains.
The VHP will hold a separate event on Sunday, which it says will be the biggest congregation of saints and supporters of the Ram temple since 1992, when the 16th-century Babri Masjid was destroyed by lakhs of right wing volunteers or karsewaks. Two lakh people are expected to attend the VHP event tomorrow. The organisation says the agenda of tomorrow’s “dharma sansad” is to discuss the way forward for the construction of the Ram temple.
An Uttar Pradesh police spokesperson said 35 senior police officers, in addition to 160 inspectors and 700 constables, have been deployed in Ayodhya. Forty-two companies of the Provincial Armed Constabulary, five companies of the Rapid Action Force and several anti-terrorism squad commandos have also deployed. They are being supported by drones.
Former Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav has asked the Supreme Court to send the army, if necessary, to keep the situation under control. The kind of environment there is in UP, especially in Ayodhya, the Supreme Court should take notice of it and send the Army if necessary,” he said.

Similar events will take place in Bangalore and Nagpur on Sunday before a big VHP gathering in Delhi on December 9 and a weeklong series of events across India starting December 18 to drum up support for Ram temple. “By then, if the government/courts don’t respond, we will hold a Dharma Sansad at the Kumbh,” a VHP member said.
Muslims have raised concern over the rising pitch of the right wing campaigns in Ayodhya. A comment by Shiv Sena leader Sanjay Raut on Friday had raised brows: “We demolished the Babri masjid in 17 minutes, how much time does it take to draw up papers? If you talk about an ordinance, then from the President’s House Rashtrapati Bhavan to Uttar Pradesh, it is BJP all the way. What else do you want?”
(With inputs from Lucknow Bureau & Agencies).

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