Ram Temple construction being made into a ‘jumla’, claims Uddhav Thackeray

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Shiv Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray on Sunday criticised his party’s ally Bharatiya Janata Party and asked it to come clean on the Ram temple matter, PTI reported.

“I raise the Ram mandir [temple] issue during elections only to expose others who always use it as an election plank,” the Sena chief said at a public rally in the city’s Worli area.

Thackeray said the Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s promise to deposit Rs 15 lakh in bank accounts was a “jumla”, or a false promise, and “now even this [Ram Temple] is a jumla”, reported ANI. “If you are making this issue also a jumla, how can you expect people to trust you?” he asked.

Thackeray asked the BJP how the Congress was hindering the construction of the temple. “They say Congress comes in between when Ram Mandir issue comes up,” ANI quoted Thackeray as saying. “Just because Congress comes in the middle, people punished them by taking away the majority [and] giving you the power. However, we don’t see any Ram Mandir built by you so far.”

Thackeray asked the saffron party how it plans to to build the temple when its allies – the Janata Dal (United) and the Lok Janshakti Party – are opposed to it. “The BJP should come clean on it,” he added.

BJP’s National General Secretary Ram Madhav said the party was committed to building the Ram temple. “Our government is doing everything possible to make sure legal process moves quickly,” Madhav told ANI. “Congress is trying to stall the judicial process.”

Thackeray also hit back at BJP President Amit Shah’s comment about thrashing former allies in the Lok Sabha elections, saying there is no party that can trounce the Sena, PTI reported.

On January 7, Shah said the BJP would ensure victory for allies or defeat them if an alliance is not formed. “I have heard words like patak denge from someone,” Thackeray said. “One who will trounce the Shiv Sena is yet to be born.”

Thackeray also took a dig at the Modi wave before the 2014 Lok Sabha polls, saying the Shiv Sena has seen “enough waves in its journey”.

Thackeray questioned why Hindu god Hanuman’s caste was being discussed by various leaders of the saffron party. “If any other religions’ castes are discussed, it will be made a huge issue, but it’s okay to discuss Lord Hanuman’s caste. How sad it is,” he said.

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