Deferred Ayodhya visit as developments around it were ploy to 'trap' MNS workers into legal hassles: Raj Thackeray

The MNS leader appealed to Prime Minister Narendra Modi-led Centre to change the name of Aurangabad to Sambhaji Nagar and to bring the Uniform Civil Code.

Sanjay JogUpdated: Sunday, May 22, 2022, 11:29 PM IST
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MNS chief Raj Thackeray | ANI

Notwithstanding ridicule and criticism, MNS chief Raj Thackeray on Sunday strongly defended his decision to postpone Ayodhya visit and explained that it was done after realising that it was a "trap" set by his opponents in which party workers may have been booked and jailed. However, he did not specify his opponents.

He claimed that "I wanted to visit the Ram Janmabhoomi and the place where karsevaks were killed. Some people don't understand emotions in politics. If I decided to go there, thousands of MNS workers and Hindus from Maharashtra would have followed me there. If something would have happened, you would have retaliated, cases would have been filed against you and you would have been thrown into jail."

At an indoor rally at a hall in Pune, Thackeray said he has to undergo a surgery on June 1 and after recovering from it he would again address a public meeting. Defending his stance over the migrants from Uttar Pradesh, he added, "Show me one agitation which I left halfway. 66-70 toll nakas were closed due to the MNS agitation. Do other parties have no responsibility pertaining to the other toll nakas? The Pakistani artists were thrown out of the country. Where were these people ranting about Hindutva back then?"

He reiterated that the MNS workers will resume agitation if loudspeakers atop mosques do not follow the noise rules. Thackeray had earlier asked his partymen to play 'Hanuman Chalisa' outside mosques where loudspeakers play 'azaan'. He dubbed Dubs Rana Couple & Shiv Sena 'frauds.'

In a veiled attack against BJP, he questioned why no apology was sought from Congress-turned-BJP leader Alpesh Thakore over the exodus of migrant labourers from Gujarat a few years ago. This was in context with BJP MP Brij Bhushan Singh’s demand for his apology for the insult to the North Indians. He without naming BJP said BJP should have tamed his party MP for running a campaign against his Ayodhya visit.

Amid the controversy over an AIMIM leader's recent visit to Mughal ruler Aurangzeb's tomb in Aurangabad city of Maharashtra, the MNS chief appealed to Prime Minister Narendra Modi-led Centre to change the name of Aurangabad to Sambhaji Nagar and to bring the Uniform Civil Code.

Thackeray also took a swipe at NCP chief Sharad Pawar who had addressed a rally braving rain before the Maharashtra Assembly polls in 2019, Thackeray said, "We were planning a gathering in an open space, but considering the possibility of rain, we decided to hold it indoors. Also, there are no elections nearby to stand in rain for giving a speech."

He further stepped-up attack against the NCP chief and said "If Sharad Pawar feels that Aurangzeb is a Sufi saint what can I say? Apparently, Afzal Khan didn't come to kill Shivaji Maharaj, he had only come to expand his kingdom. Then did Shivaji Maharaj come in between? Why are you changing history for your convenience? ‘’

Thackeray also targeted his estranged cousin and Shiv Sena President Uddhav Thackeray who had recently criticised BJP’s ‘’fake Hindutva.’’ "The Chief Minister claimed their Hindutva is real. Are they talking about a washing powder, like who's detergent is better than the other?" he asked.

Thackeray said the MNS has shown "results" on the issue of Hindutva, in the wake of his party's protest against loudspeakers on mosques.

The MNS chief fired a salvo against Shiv Sena. He said "Yesterday, some Shiv Sena leader said that Balasaheb would have been happy if he would have seen the Maha Vikas Aghadi government. Pawar Saheb said that we would fight in the morning and eat together in the evening. You are diminishing the credibility of Balasaheb Thackeray. Shiv Sena does not even have the brains to know who it is staying with. People will feel they had a fake war of words. But they are so engrossed in power that they are not bothered about this."

Unfazed by the ridicule and criticism brought on by his decision to defer his visit to Ayodhya, MNS chief Raj Thackeray on Sunday strongly defended his decision, explaining that it was done on realising that it was a ‘trap’ set by his opponents, in which his own party workers may have been booked and jailed. However, he did not specify who exactly these opponents were.

He told the audience at an indoor rally in Pune, “I wanted to visit Ram Janmabhoomi and the place where karsevaks were killed. Some people don’t understand emotions in politics. Had I decided to go there, thousands of MNS workers and Hindus from Maharashtra would have followed me. If something would have happened, you would have retaliated, cases would have been filed against you and you would have been thrown into jail.”

Further, Thackeray informed that he had to undergo a surgery on June 1 and after recovery, he would again address a public meeting. Defending his stance over the migrants from Uttar Pradesh, he added, “Show me one agitation I abandoned halfway. 66-70 toll nakas were closed due to the MNS agitation. Do other parties have no responsibility pertaining to the other toll nakas? Pakistani artists were thrown out of the country. Where were these people ranting about Hindutva back then?”

He reiterated that the MNS workers would resume agitation if loudspeakers atop mosques failed to obey noise rules. Thackeray had earlier asked his partymen to play the ‘Hanuman Chalisa’ outside mosques where calls for ‘azaan’ are issued on loudspeakers. He dubbed both the Ranas and the Shiv Sena as ‘frauds’.

In a veiled attack against the BJP, he questioned why no apology was sought from Congress-turned-BJP leader Alpesh Thakore over the exodus of migrant labourers from Gujarat a few years ago. This was in connection with BJP MP Brij Bhushan Singh’s demand that Raj Thackeray apologise for insulting north Indians. Without naming the BJP, the MNS chief said the party should have tamed its MP for running a campaign against his Ayodhya visit.

Amid the controversy over an AIMIM leader’s recent visit to the tomb of Mughal ruler Aurangzeb in Aurangabad City, Maharashtra, the MNS chief appealed to the Narendra Modi government to change the name of Aurangabad to Sambhaji Nagar and to bring in a Uniform Civil Code.

Thackeray also took a swipe at NCP chief Sharad Pawar, who had addressed a rally in pouring rain before the Maharashtra assembly polls in 2019. He said, “We were planning a gathering in an open space, but considering the possibility of rain, we decided to hold it indoors. Also, there are no elections at hand to stand in rain and make a speech.”

Further stepping up his attack on the NCP chief, he said, “If Sharad Pawar feels that Aurangzeb is a Sufi saint, what can I say? Apparently, Afzal Khan didn’t come to kill Shivaji Maharaj, he had only come to expand his kingdom. Then, did Shivaji Maharaj come in between? Why are you changing history for your convenience?”

Thackeray also targeted his estranged cousin and Shiv Sena president Uddhav Thackeray, who had recently criticised BJP’s ‘fake Hindutva’. “The chief minister claims their (Shiv Sena’s) Hindutva is real. Are they talking about a washing powder, like which detergent is better than the other?” he asked.

Thackeray said the MNS has shown ‘results’ on the issue of Hindutva, in the wake of his party’s protest against loudspeakers on mosques.

The MNS chief fired a salvo against Shiv Sena, saying, “Yesterday, some Shiv Sena leader said that Balasaheb would have been happy had he seen the Maha Vikas Aghadi government. Pawarsaheb said that we fight in the morning and eat together in the evening. You are diminishing the credibility of Balasaheb Thackeray. Shiv Sena does not even have the brains to know with whom it has tied up. People will feel they had a fake war of words. But the Sena is too engrossed in power to bother about this.”

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