Eknath Shinde To Visit Ayodhya On April 9, Perform 'Aarti' At Saryu River
Maharashtra Chief Minister Eknath Shinde on Sunday announced that he would visit Ayodhya, where a grand temple of Lord Ram is being built, on April 9 with the leaders of his party and perform ‘aarti’ at the Saryu river there.
He made the announcement during a press conference held at Anand Ashram in the city.
“I will visit Ayodhya on April 9 with my party ministers, MLAs, MPs and other functionaries. We will visit the Ram temple construction site and also perform ‘aarti’ at the Saryu river,” Mr Shinde said.
As a token of Maharashtra’s contribution in the Ram temple, logs of ‘sag’ (teak) wood would be donated for the construction activity, he said.
“As part of the ‘kar seva’ (during the Ram Janmabhoomi movement), my mentor late Anand Dighe had donated a silver brick for the Ayodhya temple. We have an old bond with Ayodhya and Lord Ram,” the chief minister added.
Mr Shinde said that his party ministers and leaders, who could not visit Ayodhya last time (during the erstwhile Uddhav Thackeray-led government) will accompany him to the Uttar Pradesh city.
In a big blow to the Uddhav Thackeray-led faction of the Shiv Sena, the Election Commission of India (ECI) in February this year recognised the Shinde-led group as the real Shiv Sena and allotted it the ‘bow and arrow’ symbol.
Referring to it, Mr Shinde said, “We never treated the bow and arrow symbol as a weapon to be used against anyone. Lord Ram is also seen with a bow and arrow, so we feel that we have a major responsibility to perform well.” Without naming Uddhav Thackeray, Shinde said Shiv Sena founder Bal Thackeray’s intention of handing over the ‘Shiv dhanush’ (party responsibility) was that his legacy would continue.
“But they could not handle it and hence it has now come to us,” he added.
“He only cared for his personal benefits, for his family and near and dear ones, ignoring the party activists,” Mr Shinde said in remarks targeted at Uddhav Thackeray.
On the occasion, the CM also said that ‘Maharashtra Sadan’ will come up in Uttar Pradesh as planned.
On Congress leader Rahul Gandhi’s remarks about V D Savarkar, he said it was unfortunate that those whom Bal Thackeray mentored, joined hands with those who abused the late Hindutva ideologue.
Replying to a question on the recent riots in Aurangabad, now named as Chhatrapati Sambhajinagar, Shinde said attempts to disturb peace will be dealt with firmly in the state.
“I have given instructions to the police department to handle the situation in a stern manner,” he said.
The chief minister said although the number of COVID-19 cases were on a rise in the state, the infection was mild.
“But the state government is not taking any chances and every step is being taken to ensure that proper medical facilities are made available to people,” he said.
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