Maharashtra CM Uddhav Thackeray on Saturday visited Ayodhya and announced an aid of Rs 1 crore for the construction of Ram Temple.
Mumbai: Maharashtra Chief Minister and Shiv Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray Saturday announced Rs 1 crore from his trust for the construction of Ram temple in Ayodhya while stressing that his party, the Shiv Sena, is committed to Hindutva even though it has broken ties with the BJP.
Thackeray, on his first visit to Ayodhya after becoming CM last November and completing 100 days in office on Friday, also said the aid will be given on behalf of a trust and not the Maharashtra government.
He was accompanied by his wife Rashmi, son and Maharashtra tourism minister Aaditya Thackeray and Congress leader Sunil Kedar.
“In Marathi, there is a phrase ‘phool na phoolachi paakli’ (one should offer a petal if not the whole flower). SoI am humbly announcing Rs 1 crore assistance for temple construction, not on behalf of the (Maharashtra) government, but our trust,” chief minister Thackeray said.
“We are humbly requesting the members of the (Ram temple) trust (formed to construct the temple on the Supreme Court’s orders) to accept the small contribution from Ram bhakts (devotees of Lord Ram),” Thackeray told reporters before offering prayers at the makeshift Ram Lalla temple.
“I have parted ways with the BJP, not with Hindutva. The BJP is not Hindutva. Hindutva is a different thing and I have not parted ways with it,” he told a gathering in Uttar Pradesh’s Ayodhya.
The Ram temple which will come up in Ayodhya will be for all, and it should be built on such a scale that people from world-over would come to see it, Thackeray added.
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He was also scheduled to perform an aarti but cancelled it due to concerns over the coronavirus.
The Supreme Court had in November said in a landmark verdict that the ownership of the site claimed by both Hindus and Muslims was entirely with Ram Lalla or infant Lord Ram. The government was ordered to set up a trust to oversee the building of a Ram temple at the site where the Babri mosque was razed by Hindu activists who believed it was built on the ruins of an ancient temple to mark the birthplace of Ram (Ram Janmabhoomi).