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.
Shiv Sena Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray asked the Narendra Modi government on Saturday to spell out the date when it will be constructed. Day, months, years and generations have passed, he said. Mandir wahin baneyenge, par date nahin batayenge (You say you will make the temple there, but won't tell the date), he said.First say when will you construct the temple, the rest we will talk later, he said in what sounded like a dare to the Bharatiya Janata Party government ahead of next year's Lok Sabha elections.
Shiv Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray, who is in Ayodhya on a two-day visit, has asked the government the date when the construction of the Ram temple would begin.
Humein aaj mandir banne ki tareekh chahiye. Pehle mandir kab banaoge wo batao, baaki baatein to baad me hoti rahengi. Aaj mujhe tareekh chahiye: Shiv Sena Chief Uddhav Thackeray in Ayodhya pic.twitter.com/U68rsl5y4Y— ANI UP (@ANINewsUP) November 24, 2018
The Aligarh Muslim University Students' Union has sought the Supreme Court's intervention as the VHP is holding a Dharam Sabha for the construction of a Ram temple in Ayodhya on Sunday, despite the case being sub-judice. The AMUSU at a press conference Friday evening announced that they were writing to the chief justice of India, the Uttar Pradesh governor and the chief minister regarding threat to law and order in the state in view of the Vishva Hindu Parishad's Dharma Sabha, a gathering of saints to be held in Ayodhya on Sunday. AMUSU secretary Huzaifa Amir said, "Already an atmosphere of fear prevails in different parts of the state since people are fearing that if the VHP proceeds with their temple construction programme, it would definitely disturb the peace in the state".
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Furthermore, senior Shiv Sena leader Gulabrao Patil claimed that the BJP had forgotten the Hindutva agenda and claimed the Shiv Sena was the true Hindutva party.
Meanwhile, Ayodhya has turned into a virtual fortress as the Shiv Sena and the Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP) are all set to hold separate events to raise the pitch for temple construction. Uddhav Thackeray arrived in the temple town on Saturday for a two-day visit, which is being dubbed as a show of strength, as the Sena wants to take on the mantle of being champion of Hindutva from the BJP.
The Shiv Sena targeted the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and likened it to Kumbhakarna on the day its president Uddhav Thackeray visited Ayodhya to give push for construction of the Ram temple at the disputed site. Its mouthpiece, the ‘Saamana’, was unsparing in its criticism of the BJP. In its editorial, the newspaper said that the BJP leaders had abandoned their responsibility and Hindus wouldn't’t forgive them. "The Hindus don't accept those who run away as their leaders. We owned up responsibility for the Babri demolition," Saamana said.
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The chorus has grown within the BJP and the Sangh Parivar, seeking construction of a temple there through ordinance as the apex court recently fixed the Ayodhya title suit for the first week of January next year before an appropriate bench, which will decide the schedule of hearing.
Pot of Soil from Pune | The Shiv Sena chief is reported to have brought a pot full of soil from the Shivneri fort in Pune, which will be handed over to the priest at the Ram janmabhoomi when he meets him later. This is Thackeray's first visit to Ayodhya and party leaders, including MP, Sanjay Raut, and others had been camping here for the last few days to make preparations for the visit. On Sunday morning, Thackeray will go for a darshan of Ram Lalla accompanied, interact with the media and later with the public, party sources said. The temple town will also witness another major congregation of the Vishva Hindu Parishad (VHP) activists Sunday who will be taking part in a Dharam Sabha.
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The Hindu seer also slammed the saffron outfits for allegedly damaging others religious sites associated with Lord Ram in Ayodhya.
Notwithstanding a growing chorus for early construction of a Ram temple in Ayodhya ahead of next year's general elections, many youth in the holy city say they don't want to be drawn into the "political melee" while asserting that their future "won't hinge" on the fate of the proposed temple. Another section of youth, however, are anxious to have the temple constructed but "not at the cost of communal harmony".
The Muslim litigant in the Ram Janmabhoomi-Babri Masjid title suit, Iqbal Ansari Saturday said he was satisfied with the security arrangements in Ayodhya ahead of the VHP 'Dharam Sabha', but questioned the intention of the leaders in bringing such large crowds to the town. The Shiv Sena and the Vishva Hindu Parishad (VHP) are organising separate Ram Temple events in Ayodhya where multiple layers of security have been put in place along with deployment of drone cameras to keep an eye on the possible mischief mongers. While Shiv Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray will offer prayers at the Ram janmabhoomi, the VHP will organise a 'Dharam Sabha' in Ayodhya on Sunday to call for the construction of a grand temple for Lord Ram.
UP's deputy CM Keshav Prasad Maurya dismissed Yadav's claims, saying his remarks simply showed his frustration as it was a Dharam Sabha and the Army was not needed for it. "No one needs to fear (anything) as there is peace in Uttar Pradesh. The government has made elaborate security arrangements to ensure that no untoward incident takes place," he told PTI. Referring to the firing on unarmed karsewaks in 1990, Maurya said, "If Akhilesh Yadav is thinking that a 1990-like situation will prevail, then this will not happen under the government headed by Yogi Adityanath. We will provide adequate security to all and take all necessary action."
Ahead of the Dharam Sabha being held in Ayodhya Sunday to push for the construction of a Ram temple, Samajwadi Party chief Akhilesh Yadav has said if required the Army should be deployed in the town. Thousands of people have started gathering in the town ahead of the Vishva Hindu Parishad event. Shiv Sena leader Uddhav Thackeray has also arrived here Saturday for a separate programme. Talking to reporters Friday, Yadav had said, "The Supreme Court should take notice of the situation in Uttar Pradesh. It should seriously consider the matter and bring in the Army, if required... as the BJP and its allies can go to any extent," Yadav told reporters.
Shiv Sena President Uddhav Thackeray Heads Towards Laxman Quila | Shiv Sena president Uddhav Thackeray has arrived in Ayodhya along with his son Aditya. The Thackerays are now heading towards Laxman Quila for Ashirwaad Sammelan. The party chief will perform rituals as part of a campaign to raise the pitch for the construction of a Ram temple.
Shiv Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray leaves for Lakshman Kila. He is on a two-day visit to Ayodhya. Shiv Sena will hold an event in the city tomorrow over the issue of #RamTemple. pic.twitter.com/jZkRx1WKdL— ANI UP (@ANINewsUP) November 24, 2018
Ayodhya's Tedhi Bazar Chauraha Sealed | Ayodhya's Tedhi Bazar Chauraha has also been sealed. Police has set up barricades. Commuters, including local resident, trying to enter the temple town from this area are not being allowed. The junction is being monitored by DIG-level officers. Meanwhile, seers and Shiv Sena supporters have gathered at Laxman Quila ground and chanting slogans of 'Jai Shri Ram', ahead of Uddhav and Aditya Thackeray's arrival.
Farangi Mahali on Ayodhya Issue | Maulana Khalid Rasheed Farangi Mahali today demanded to extend security cover to all Ayodhya residents, claiming that "there is an attempt to recreate the 1992 kind of atmosphere". "It is the responsibility of every citizen to uphold Supreme Court's decision and it is the district administration's and government's responsibility to ensure law and order is maintained in the state. Every resident should be provided security irrespective of their religion," he said.
Traffic Alert for Ayodhya Residents | As soon as Uddhav and Aditya Thackeray arrived in Ayodhya, the central part of the city was sealed. Commuters going towards Udaya Chauraha should avoid the route as movement near the junction has been stopped. People are being diverted to other routes. Some residents complain that they are unable to reach their homes due to tight security cover and barricades.
Ramdev Says People Have 'Only 2 Options' in Ayodhya Issue | As Shiv Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray arrived in Ayodhya, yoga guru Baba Ramdev said that now people have only two options for Ram Temple. "First is to pass a bill in Parliament, second is construction of temple by people themselves. The court has delayed the issue of so much that the people are losing their patience. So, people of the country are left with two options, either an ordinance be brought in the Parliament or people will make it themselves," he said.
Shiv Sena president Uddhav Thackeray Arrives in Ayodhya | Shiv Sena president Uddhav Thackeray has arrived at Faizabad Airport along with his son Aditya. The Thackerays are now heading towards Hotel Panchvati and will later arrive at Ayodhya's Laxman Quila for Ashirwaad Sammelan. The party chief will perform rituals as part of a campaign to raise the pitch for the construction of a Ram temple.
Shiv Sena MP Slams Akhilesh Over 'Need for Army in Ayodhya' Remark | Slamming Samajwadi party chief Akhilesh Yadav over 'Need for Army in Ayodhya' statement, Maharashtra PWD minister and Shiv Sena leader Eknath Shinde said that former UP minister was just politicising the issue. "We are not interested in politics right row. We have come to Ayodhya for construction of Ram temple. Our show will be peaceful as party president Uddhav Thackeray only wishes to see Ram Mandir here," he said. Yadav had on Friday demanded that the Supreme Court should take note of the prevailing situation in Ayodhya and consider deploying Army to maintain peace and ensure security of the people. He had said that "BJP and its allies can go to any extent".
Shiv Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray along with his family arrives in Ayodhya on Nov 24, 2018.
"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.
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