Ayodhya News LIVE Updates: Shiv Sena president Uddhav Thackeray has arrived in Ayodhya along with his son Aditya. Uddhav asked the BJP to declare a date by when the temple will come up. The Sena chief pointed out that Atalji’s government was that of alliance and so it had compulsions. He urged the BJP, which is in majority, to do something for the construction of the temple. He said the Sena will support any law or ordinance on the matter. The Sena chief reached the ghats of Sarayu river and was seen performing the aarti with his family.
Earlier in the day, Suheldev Bharatiya Samaj Party chief and cabinet minister Om Prakash Rajbhar said that Uttar Pradesh chief minister Yogi Adityanath will be responsible for any untoward incident in Ayodhya during Shiv Sena’s show of strength as despite the imposition of Section 144, the administration has allowed thousands of supporters to gather in the temple town.
“Adityanath is interested in election campaigning when section 144 is imposed in Ayodhya. The kind of crowd that has gathered there… its responsibility lies with the chief minister," he said.
Shiv Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray is set to arrive at Faizabad Airport shortly. Party members have already gathered outside to welcome their president. A party member said that Shiv Sena lawmakers Sanjay Raut and Eknath Shinde will receive Thackeray at the airport.
The party, earlier on Saturday, said that it had arrived in Ayodhya to “awaken the Kumbhakarna BJP". “We are the true Hindutva party. We want to tell them that they have been sleeping like Kumbhakarna. We have come to wake them up," senior party leader Gulabrao Patil said.
A tense Ayodhya has turned into a virtual fortress for the weekend as Shiv Sainiks and members of Hindu outfit VHP converge on the holy city for two massive shows of strength to push the Centre to move on the Ram Temple issue ahead of the 2019 general elections. Shiv Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray will arrive in the temple town for a two-day visit on Saturday afternoon being dubbed as a show of strength as he looks to take on the mantle of being the champion of Hindutva from the BJP.
Shiv Sena workers are leaving no stone unturned to make it a big event even as section 144 has been imposed by local administration. A party worker said that Thackeray will be blessed by a thousand seers, while earthen lamps will be floated in the river during ‘Sarayu aarti’. Thousands of Shiv Sainiks across Maharashtra will simultaneously hold ‘aarti’ to accompany the party chief. In Mumbai, Thackeray’s wife, Rashmi, will lead an ‘aarti’ at the famous Siddhivinayak temple in the evening. “It will be a spectacular show. There will be fireworks on the river bank. Residents of Ayodhya will feel like Diwali again," a party worker said.
Thackeray’s chartered flight will land at Faizabad airport between 1.30 and 2 pm, following which ‘aashirvadotsav’ will be held in the afternoon and ‘Sarayu aarti’ around 5 pm. The party president is being accompanied by his son, Aditya.
His visit to Ayodhya comes amid a concerted push by Hindu outfits to pressure the government into bringing an ordinance to facilitate the construction of Ram Mandir at the disputed Ram Janmabhoomi-Babri Masjid site. On Sunday, the Vishwa Hindu Parishad will hold its Dharma Sabha in the city where over two lakh workers will congregate.
The Faizabad district administration has imposed prohibitory orders (Section 144) at the Ram Janambhoomi-Babri Majid disputed site amid reports that the minority community was feeling unsafe and some have started leaving the city fearing violence.
The state police has sounded a state-wide alert amid apprehension of trouble during the Dharma Sabha on Sunday. The government has posted ADG (Lucknow zone) Ashutosh Pandey and IG (Jhansi) SS Baghel to oversee the security.
“Extra force comprising 10 companies of Central Paramilitary Force and 68 companies of Provincial Armed Constabulary has been deployed to keep a check on the law and order situation. Along with this, the local police force from adjoining districts has been called in,” ASP Ayodhya, Sanjay Kumar said.
According to sources, a flood unit of Provincial Armed Constabulary (PAC) will also patrol the Sarayu River, while ATS commandos, along with Bomb-Dosposal Squad will be deployed in order to tackle any unwanted situation.
The Shiv Sena, for its show of strength, is expecting around 4,000 sainiks that will be brought in five special trains from Thane. The party is also expecting its 22 MPs and 62 MLAs to attend the two-day event for which it has painted Ayodhya saffron.