‘Will Donate Rs 1 Crore for Construction of Ram Mandir’: CM Uddhav
Maharashtra CM Uddhav Thackeray reached Ayodhya to offer prayers to mark his 100 days in the CM’s office.
Maharashtra CM Uddhav Thackeray, who arrived in Ayodhya on Saturday, 7 March, to offer prayers marking 100 days of him taking charge of the CM’s office said that he would be contributing Rs 1 crore towards the construction of the Ram temple in Ayodhya and requested the members of the trust to accept it. He added that this money would come not from the state government but his own trust.
“Today, I want to announce that not from the state government, but from my trust, I offer an amount of Rs. 1 crore,” Thackeray said, adding that the days of constant doubt about whether and when the Ram Mandir would be constructed were now in the past.
The Maharashtra CM said that his visit was in order to seek blessings of Ram Lalla.
“I have with me today several members of my 'Bhagwa' family. It is my third visit in last 1.5 years. I will also offer prayers today,” he said.
Thackeray also said that he may have parted ways with BJP, but not with Hindutva, going on to say that BJP and Hindutva are separate.
Uddhav Thackeray’s statement comes just months after Shiv Sena ended its alliance with the BJP and joined hands with the Congress and Sharad Pawar led NCP.
Since ending its long term ties with the BJP, Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray has made multiple comments about how different his idea of Hindutva is from that of the BJP. In February 2020, Thackeray took a veiled dig at the former ally by claiming that using religion to grab power is not his version of Hindutva.
“We don’t have the same thought process. I don’t want a Hindu Rashtra which is not peaceful. Using religion and grabbing power is not my Hindutva.”Uddhav Thackeray, Maharashtra CM, as reported by India Today
Accompanied by his son and state minister Aditya and wife Rashmi Thackeray, the CM also said that everyone would build the Ram Mandir together and that it should be a good temple .
Amid measures being taken to curb the spread of novel coronavirus, CM Thackeray cancelled his plans to take part in the ‘aarti’ program held on the banks of the Sarayu river, reported PTI quoting Sena leader Sanjay Raut.
Addressing reporters in Lucknow, Raut reportedly said that the ‘aarti’ programme will not take place due to the precautions needed to be taken in view of coronavirus outbreak. The ‘aarti’ programme on the banks of river Sarayu has been stopped by the local administration as a precautionary measure.
Aside from the CM, a few other Sena ministers and party functionaries are also expected to reach Ayodhya. The state unit of Shiv Sena had earlier said that the Thackeray family would be arriving Ayodhya on Saturday morning by a state aircraft and would go straight to the Ram Janambhoomi temple to offer prayers.
Senior Sena leader Sanjay Raut tweeted that Thackeray will reach Faizabad at 1:30 pm. Without elaborating, he also said that Thackeray might announce an ‘important’ position on the construction of the Ram temple.
Uddhav Thackeray, who assumed office on November 28, 2019, is visiting Ayodhya, a month after the Centre constituted a trust to oversee construction of a Ram temple at the once disputed site in the town.
A Special Train For Shiv Sainiks
Shiv Sainiks reached Ayodhya ahead of CM Uddhav’s arrival in a special train. The special train bringing Shiv Sainiks from Mumbai was booked by an individual through Indian Railway Catering and Tourism Corporation (IRCTC) from Mumbai to Ayodhya and return.
The return train will leave for Mumbai on Saturday night, reported IANS. WhatsApp messages were in circulation among Shiv Sena workers asking party members to board the special train at designated halts if they wanted to visit Ayodhya.
(With inputs from IANS, PTI and ANI.)
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