Aditya Thackeray, Minister for Tourism and Environment, along with several other party workers of the Shiv Sena, will be visiting Ayodhya Ram Temple on 10 June.
A report from the ANI quoted Rajya Sabha MP Sanjay Raut as saying, "Aditya Thackeray and other are visiting Ayodhya to seek blessing and the visit is not political. It is our faith."
"Preparations have begun in the Uttar Pradesh's Ayodhya city, the birthplace of Lord Ram, for the welcoming of Shiva Sena party members," Raut added. However, the visit is being seen as political battle between Shiva Sena and Raj Thackeray's Maharashtra Navanirman Sena to find prominence among a section of voters.
Aditya Thackeray, a Minister in the Maha Vikas Aghadi government, announced his visit to Ayodhya just a few days after his uncle and political rival Raj Thackeray had said that he would be visiting Ayodhya on 5 June 5.
Meanwhile, a report in Hindustan Times quoted a few seers in Ayodhya speaking against Shiva Sena for having endorsed and pursued minority appeasement policies. It was also reported that Ramesh Das, the head priest of Hanuman Garhi temple in Ayodhya also said, "The Shiv Sena has shunned the ideology of party founder late Balasaheb Thackeray. It is no more a proponent of Hindutva thought. Instead, the party is pursuing the policy of Muslim appeasement.”
It was also reported that Sharad Sharma, Vishva Hindu Parishad's regional spokesperson in Ayodhya's Karsevakpuram, applauded Raj Thackeray for having changed his anti-North Indian rhetoric and for occupying the vacuum left by Shiva Sena in the Maharashtra politics.
Meanwhile, MNS party workers have put up 'Chalo Ayodhya' posters across Mumbai city, appealing to people and supporters to join the party chief Raj Thackeray on his visit to Ayodhya on 5 June. Written in Hindi, the posters read, "Jai Shri Ram. Dharmada nahi main bhi dharm abhimani. Chalo Ayodhya!" which translates to, "Hail Shri Ram! I am not religious for goodness' sake. I am a religious person. Let's March to Ayodhya."
A few days ago, Shiva Sena youth leader and minister Aditya Thackeray was in a war of words over the legacy of Bal Thackeray. In a social media post, Raj Thackeray had posed a picture in late Bal Thackeray's attire and had also shared a video of his political master's opinion on banning loudspeakers in mosques. Shiva Sena too retorted by sharing another video of Bal Thackeray taking a jibe at the MNS chief.