Lord Ram still in exile, why erect statue, says Shiv Sena
MUMBAI: Taking a jibe at its saffron ally Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), the Shiv Sena termed the former’s plan to rename cities and construct a statue of Lord Ram in Ayodhya, Uttar Pradesh (UP), as a “lollipop” to the masses. The statement was made on Saturday in an editorial in party mouthpiece Saamana, which is seen as Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray’s views.
The statement comes after UP chief minister (CM) Yogi Adityanathannouncedearlierthisweek that his government would construct a statue of Lord Ram in Ayodhya.
The editorial read, “Yogi, according to his wish, renamed Faizabad to Ayodhya and announced a grand statue of Lord Ram. But this statue is like a lollipop by the BJP ahead of the 2019 general elections… There are many statues and temples of Lord Ram around the world. But the demand is to free Lord Ram from the prison (referring to the makeshift temple where the idol is currently installed) and install him in the temple (in Ayodhya). Lord Ram is still in exile, what good is erecting a statue in Ayodhya?”
The Sena also reminded the BJP that the latter is in power today because of the “sacrifices made by the kar sevaks (religious volunteers who had participated in the Rath Yatra and Janmabhoomi movement of early ‘90s).” “Lakhs of kar sevaks had demanded a Ram Mandir, but the government merely renamed Faizabad and is planning to construct a statue,” the editorial read.
The editorial also asked “Hindus to be cautious.”
“Hindus should be wary of such announcements ahead of the polls. They have put aside the Ram temple and are now talking about statues,” the editorial read.
The Sena, which is sharing power with the BJP at the Centre and in the state, has been taking on the Narendra Modi government for not fulfilling its poll promise of constructing the Ram temple in Ayodhya.
The party demanded that the Centre bring in an ordinance instead of waiting for the Supreme Court verdict on the matter. Thackeray,inanattempt to put pressure on the BJP, would also be visiting Ayodhya on November 25.