Mumbai: With both MNS chief Raj Thackeray and Maharashtra minister and Shiv Sena leader Aaditya Thackeray announcing their plans to visit Ayodhya, the latter's colleague Sanjay Raut on Monday said his party has always received blessings of Lord Ram because of its clear conscience.
Taking a dig at Raj, the Sena Rajya Sabha MP said those who visit the temple city with a political aim don't get the blessings of Lord Ram.
"Shiv Sainiks have often visited Ayodhya and have a strong bond with that city. Our relations with Ayodhya are not political or from an election point of view. We used to go to Ayodhya even when we were not in power. After becoming Chief Minister, Uddhav Thackeray has gone there twice," he said.
"We could not go there for the past two years due to COVID-19. Taking blessings of Ram Lalla is our right. We have undertaken many works there," Raut added.
Aaditya, the de-facto number two in the Sena, is scheduled to visit Ayodhya next month while Raj's visit is planned for June.
Aaditya's visit to Ayodhya comes at a time when his uncle appears to have taken a hardline position on Hindutva with a demand to remove loudspeakers atop mosques.
"The Shiv Sena has always got the blessings of Ayodhya and Lord Ram. This is because our conscience is clear. We go there because of faith. If you go with a political aim, then Ram Lalla will not help," Raut said in a veiled attack on Raj.
Responding to a question on the probe against BJP leader Kirit Somaiya and his son Neil Somaiya in the alleged siphoning of funds collected for INS Vikrant, Raut said the Mumbai police's Economic Offence Wing that is investigating the case is much more capable than Enforcement Directorate or the Income Tax officials.
"What can you expect from those who have been exposed," he said in response to a question on BJP running a 'pol khol' (exposure of irregularities) campaign with an eye on the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation elections.