Lord Ram still in ex­ile, why erect statue, says Shiv Sena

Hindustan Times ST (Mumbai) - - HTMETRO - HT Cor­re­spon­dent Ud­dhav Thack­eray

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.

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