Have not yet received Ram temple consecration ceremony invite: Uddhav

Mumbai: Shiv Sena (UBT) chief Uddhav Thackeray on Saturday said he has not yet received the invitation for the consecration of Lord Ram temple in Ayodhya on January 22.

Thackeray also stressed he doesn’t need a formal invite as Ram Lalla belongs to everyone and that he would visit the temple town in Uttar Pradesh whenever he felt like.

Shri Ram Janmabhoomi Teerth Kshetra Trust has been inviting several prominent personalities and political leaders of the country for the grand event.

Talking to reporters, Thackeray said Shiv Sena had undertaken a long struggle for the Ram Janmabhoomi movement. He further said his father and Sena founder Bal Thackeray’s voting right was “snatched” for campaigning for the Ram Temple and Hindutva during a bypoll.

“I have not received any invitation yet and I don’t need one to visit Ayodhya as Ram Lalla belongs to everyone. Whenever I feel like it, I will go. Shiv Sena had contributed a lot to the Ram temple movement,” said Thackeray, a member of the opposition INDIA bloc.

Thackeray recalled that he had visited Ayodhya even when he was chief minister of Maharashtra.

Taking a veiled swipe at BJP, he said, “I only expect that political event shouldn’t be made out of it (the consecration ceremony). Lord Ram is not the property of any single party. This is the matter of faith for crores of people”.

He also said it was the Supreme Court’s decision that paved the way for the construction of Ram temple and the Centre had no role.

Shiv Sena (UBT) spokesperson Sanjay Raut said the “top ten” among those accused of demolishing the Babri mosque in 1992 are Shiv Sainiks including Bal Thackeray. “A total of 109 Shiv Sainikas from Maharashtra figure in the list of the accused persons in the demolition case,” he claimed.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath and more than 6,000 people are expected to attend the consecration ceremony.