Even though Shiv Sena is no more an ally of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), the saffron party went all out and claimed credit for the construction of Ram Mandir on the day of its groundbreaking ceremony on Wednesday in Ayodhya. Maharashtra Tourism and Environment Minister Aaditya Thackeray said that Balasaheb Thakeray's dream is fulfilled today. The late Shiv Sena patriarch, termed by party followers as ‘hinduhriday samrat’ (emperor of hindu hearts), was a strong proponent of the temple.
Party Member of the Parliament Sanjay Raut also shared Aaditya's statement. Raut shared a graphic on Twitter that said, "Fulfilment of Balasaheb's dream." The graphic also depicts a temple and carries the text ‘Shree Ram’ and ‘garv se kaho hum Hindu hai’ (say with pride that we are Hindus).
“People know that it was the Shiv Sena that took part in the struggle. The BJP had denied their involvement. Their official stand at that time was that they had not done it. At that time, it was only Balasaheb Thackeray who had said he was proud of the Shiv Sainiks. We are still facing court cases for the same. And people know it,” Raut said.
The party, through its mouthpiece Saamna, carried a frontpage advertisement that read, “Jai Shree Ram.”
The advertisement had party founder Bal Thackeray's photograph. It also carried the message: He jyani kele tyancha mala abhiman ahe (I am proud of those who did this). The advertisement was issued by Milind Narvekar, party secretary and personal assistant to Shiv Sena president and Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray.
Shiv Sena, which is currently heading the Maha Vikas Aghadi government in Maharashtra, has said today is a historic day and a golden moment, as the dreams and aspirations of the Hindus have been fulfilled.
The Shiv Sena said those who forget the sacrifices of 'kar sevaks' at the time of the 'bhoomi pujan' of the Ram temple construction in Ayodhya will be ‘Ram drohi’. The 'bhoomi pujan' event is of the entire country and Hindus. But what is this adamant stand that nobody should get credit for, the party wondered in an editorial in its mouthpiece.
It claimed the ceremony is ‘personality centric and political party centric’. "The soil where the Ram temple will be constructed has the smell of the sacrifices of 'kar sevaks'. Those who forget that will be Ram drohi," the Uddhav Thackeray-led party said.
The mosque in Ayodhya was demolished in December 1992 by 'kar sevaks' who claimed an ancient Ram temple had stood on the same site. In November, last year, the Supreme Court paved the way for the construction of Ram Mandir at the disputed site in Ayodhya and directed the central government to allot an alternative five acres plot to the Sunni Waqf Board for building a new mosque at a ‘prominent’ place in the holy town.
Shiv Sena noted that BJP veterans LK Advani and Murli Manohar Joshi, key leaders attached to the Ram Mandir construction campaign, will witness the sweet end of the battle via video conferencing from Delhi.
"The country has become excited in view of the ‘bhoomi pujan’ ceremony. There is no other golden moment like the country's prime minister breaking the ground (for temple construction)," the Shiv Sena said.
"Coronavirus is prevailing. It has spread in Ayodhya, Uttar Pradesh, and the entire country. This crisis, too, will fade away with the blessings of Lord Ram,” it said.