Shiv Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray will reach Ayodhya today for a two-day visit, VHP and Shiv Sena will hold separate events in the city on Sunday over the matter of Ram Temple
New Delhi: With chants of the construction of a Ram mandir at the disputed site gaining momentum, Ayodhya is all set to witness a busy weekend. While Shiv Sena president Uddhav Thackeray is all set to reach Ayodhya for a two-day visit, Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP) will be holding a mass dharma sansad on Sunday.
Thackeray is scheduled to offer prayers at the Ram janmabhoomi, and participate in the aarti by the Sarayu river. He is also expected to speak to saints and people there. He is carrying a pot full of soil from the Shivneri fort in Pune, which will be handed over to the mahant or priest at the janmabhoomi.
Though Shiv Sena's political presence in Uttar Pradesh is negligible, political experts feel Thackeray’s visit to Ayodhya can have nationwide effect. The Sena, which parted ways with the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and announced, earlier this year, that it would contest all future elections independently. It has been sharply critical of the BJP and Prime Minister Narendra Modi for their "failure" to construct the Ram temple despite being in power for over four-and-a-half years.
VHP’s "dharma sansad", in their own words, will be the biggest congregation of saints and supporters of the Ram temple since 1992. Over 1 lakh RSS workers and 1 lakh VHP workers are in Ayodhya. The agenda is to discuss the way forward for the construction of the Ram temple and mobilise support.
According to reports, VHP organisers have claimed that they are preparing three lakh food packets for Sunday’s event where Hindu far-right workers, sevaks and sainiks are being brought together for a massive and belligerent show of strength months before the Lok Sabha election of 2019 in a big push to the BJP government at the Centre to move on the Ram temple. The VHP has been holding bike rallies and processions across UP in the last few days.
Sensing the law and order challenge, the district administration has divided Ayodhya into separate zones and sectors. Paramilitary forces have been deployed in each of these sectors. One DIG, three superintendents of police, three additional superintendents of police, 21 DSP, 160 inspectors and thousands of UP police constables will be engaged to ensure a peaceful gathering of Ram bhakts.
Government sources said local intelligence units have been "alerted" and extra security deployment has been made ahead of the sabha.
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Last Updated Nov 24, 2018, 12:25 PM IST