File picture of Arvind Sawant (L), Uddhav Thackeray (2L), Aaditya Thackeray (2R), and Sanjay Raut (R) arriving to offer prayers at the makeshift Ram Lalla temple, in Ayodhya, from 2019
File picture of Arvind Sawant (L), Uddhav Thackeray (2L), Aaditya Thackeray (2R), and Sanjay Raut (R) arriving to offer prayers at the makeshift Ram Lalla temple, in Ayodhya, from 2019
PTI

Shiv Sena MP Sanjay Raut on Tuesday said the party President and the Maharashtra chief minister Uddhav Thackeray will go to Ayodhya for the bhoomi pujan ceremony of the Ram temple. Raut however, did not clarify if Thackeray has received an invitation for the ceremony as yet.

He strongly refuted rumours of differences over the Ram temple issue among the ruling Maharashtra Vikas Agadhi (MVA) partners in the state.

Raut said NCP chief Sharad Pawar hasn’t criticised the construction of the Ram temple in Ayodhya, and the three parties in the coalition have different ideologies but work on a common minimum programme. He noted that the Shiv Sena shares a “religious and national connection” with the Ram Mandir movement.

Raut said there are no issues within MVA over Thackeray’s plan to visit Ayodhya. “This is not a political or a religious issue but a matter of national pride. The common minimum programme will remain our guiding light to run the government. Whether to go to Ayodhya or not is not an agenda of the government,” he viewed.

The state Congress chief and Revenue Minister Balasaheb Thorat also denied any differences among three partners. He criticised the BJP for timing of the groundbreaking function for Ram temple saying that it was to divert the attention from the Centre’s mishandling of the Covid-19 crisis.

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