Ayodhya, Nov 25: Before the 2019 elections, Shiv Sena is upping the ante on Ram Temple in bid to garner the Hindu votes and emerge as Champions of Hindu sentiments. In a bid to hijack the temple issue from BJP, Shiv Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray once again dared PM Narendra Modi, this time Ayodhya. Mounting pressure on the BJP government at the Centre over the construction of a grand Ram temple in Uttar Pradesh here, Shiv Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray on Sunday said if the Narendra Modi government dithered this time, it will not come to power in 2019.
"Sarkaar bane na bane, mandir zaroor banna chahiye" (Whether the government comes back to power or not, but the grand Ram temple must be constructed," he said.Addressing the media after a 30-minute darshan of the Ram Lalla, the Shiv sena supremo said no one should play with the sentiments of the Hindus in this matter."Time when Hindus were beaten up is a thing of the past, Hindus now are powerful and have a voice," Thackeray said.The Sena chief again repeated his party's commitment to an early construction of a grand Ram temple in Ayodhya and said if the central government brought a Bill or an ordinance for the temple construction, his party would extend its absolute support.He said though he experienced inner peace when he prayed before the idols of Ram Lalla, but rued as if it was a prison he was visiting.He also slammed the Bharatiya Jatana Party indirectly by saying that there were some people who chanted "Ram-Ram" during elections but afterwards go on 'aa-ram mode' (relaxed mode).Even late Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee had said that the Hindus would not be beaten any longer, Thackeray said, adding that if the Modi government wanted to wait for the Supreme Court verdict, it should say so categorically to Lord Ram's followers.Hundreds of Ram bhakts and Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP) supporters poured in to the temple town ahead of the Dharma Sabha on Sunday, as district administration appeared overwhelmed by the numbers, which were expected to cross lakhs.Prohibitory orders under Section 144 of the CrPC have not been conformed to in any way.Deputy Inspector General (DIG) Ayodhya, Omkar Singh tried to allay fears of any untoward incident and said all arrangements were in place.Meanwhile, Uttar Pradesh Deputy Chief Minister Keshav Prasad Maurya on Sunday disapproved of the Shiv Sena's push for constructing a Ram temple here, saying the party had no role in the temple movement. Maurya's remarks came on a day Shiv Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray asked the BJP-led NDA government to declare a date for the construction of the Ram temple."There is no problem in Uddhav Thackeray catching a glimpse of Ram Lalla... But, had Balasaheb Thackeray been alive, he would have prevented Uddhav from doing whatever he is doing,” Maurya told PTI on the phone. “The Shiv Sena had no role in the temple movement or even in the Dharam Sabha, though Balasaheb Thackeray would support the Vishwa Hindu Parishad,” he said.He said Uddhav Thackeray should take the VHP, "which is leading such a large-scale movement, along with his party. There is no point creating a divide". The deputy chief minister, who was part of the VHP during the Ram temple movement, said, “The devotees of Lord Ram know who can actually make a sacrifice now and who had made a sacrifice earlier.”News24 Bureau/ PTI(Photo:Internet)