**Ayodhya : ** In remarks aimed against his ruling BJP ally, Shiv Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray on Saturday demanded to know when “exactly” the construction of a grand Ram temple in Ayodhya would begin, especially when BJP is in a majority at the Centre and was not bound by any coalition constraints.
“Mandir wahin baneyenge, par date nahin batayenge (they say the temple would be built there, but they won’t declare the date). First tell us when you will construct the temple. Then we will talk,” he was quoted as saying.
In the temple town on a two-day maiden visit, Thackeray, whose party’s alliance with the BJP has not been on an even keel for some months, took part in a function held to seek “blessings from the seers” and said the Ayodhya issue “cannot be delayed endlessly.”
Saying he was eager for ‘darshan’ of Ram Lalla on Sunday, he said the construction of the grand Ram temple was a “matter of faith which cannot be decided by courts”. He asked the Modi government to bring in a Bill in favour of the temple and pledged support to it.
He took a dig at Prime minister Modi’s “56 inch ka seena” (56-inch chest) and said this was useless if it did not have the power to construct a Ram temple. In an indirect reference to the BJP, he called its leaders ‘Kumbhkaran’ who were asleep for the last four years.
Thackeray along with his wife Rashmi and son Aditya arrived at the airport in a chartered plane. He was greeted by party workers with slogans ‘Jai Bhawani, Jai Shiva ji’.
He drove to a hotel from where he went to the Laxman Qila grounds where he took part in the event organized by his party.
He performed ‘puja’ along with his family there.
Security in Ayodhya has been tightened with heavy police deployment and the district administration has barricaded all prominent roads.
Prohibitory orders are in place but are ineffective as the roads are buzzing with people, mainly workers of the Shiv Sena, Vishwa Hindu Parishad and Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS).