Mumbai: Maharashtra Chief Minister Eknath Shinde, in a bid to reinforce the Hindutva superglue that binds it with the BJP, has announced that he would visit Ayodhya on April 9 with the leaders of his party, and perform a 'puja' at the Saryu river there.
He made the announcement while speaking to reporters. “I will visit Ayodhya on April 9 with my party ministers, MLAs, MPs and other functionaries. We will also perform a 'puja' at the Saryu,” Shinde said.
My mentor Anand Dighe had sent silver bricks to Ayodhya: Eknath Shinde
“When 'kar seva' (during the Ram Janmabhoomi movement) was on, my mentor late Anand Dighe had sent silver bricks to Ayodhya. We have an old bond with Ayodhya and Lord Ram,” the chief minister added. Now that the EC has recognised the Shinde-led group as the real Shiv Sena and allotted it the 'bow and arrow' symbol, the part feels it needs to use it to the hilt to consolidate its hold on Hindu voters and not just Marathi Manoos, as has been the norm.
Referring to his party's symbol, Shinde said, “We never treated the bow and arrow symbol as a weapon to be used against anyone. Lord Ram is also seen with a bow and arrow, so we feel that we have a major responsibility to perform well.”
About the Savarkar controversy
The Savarkar controversy stoked by Rahul Gandhi too has come at an opportune time. Shinde, quick on the political uptake and wanting to cash in on the embarrassment the remarks have caused to the MVA, led the 'Savarkar Gaurav Yatra' on Sunday in Thane. Senior leaders of the BJP and Shinde participated in the yatra on a makeshift 'chariot' and waved to citizens as the procession criss-crossed four assembly segments in the city. ‘‘Congress leader Rahul Gandhi and a few others are knowingly insulting Savarkar and the ‘yatra’ is an answer to those people,” declared Shinde with aplomb.
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