No rally, Uddhav Thackeray will meet public, media at Ayodhya

Updated: Nov 22, 2018, 14:20 IST | Dharmendra Jore | Mumbai

Shiv Sena had a tough time getting permissions as it had publicly claimed responsibility for demolishing Masjid

Uddhav Thackeray is also likely to meet some religious leaders during his Ayodhya visit
Uddhav Thackeray is also likely to meet some religious leaders during his Ayodhya visit

While it has been confirmed that there will be no public rally by Shiv Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray during his Ayodhya visit, group leader Sanjay Raut said on Wednesday that on November 25, Uddhav would interact with the public by making a speech and answer media questions at an open venue where he is scheduled to meet religious leaders.

Going by information shared by Sena insiders, Raut and party secretary Milind Narvekar have maintained that holding a public rally was anyway not possible in Ayodhya because of law and order restrictions. The district administration does not allow such political rallies in a sensitive town. It was a particularly onerous task for Sena to get such permissions as it had publicly claimed responsibility for demolishing the Babri Masjid years ago.

Raut and Narvekar were in Lucknow and Ayodhya earlier this week to meet political leaders and administrative bosses to apprise them of the Sena's initiative. Interestingly, on November 25, outfits such as Rastriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS), Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP)and Bajrang Dal, too, will hold events in five cities across the country, including Ayodhya. Sources said these organisations were likely to be barred from holding public events.

Thackeray's UP itinerary
Thackeray will reach Ayodhya on November 24 for participating in the Sarayu Aarti in the evening. Next morning, he will visit the temple site and seek blessings of Ram Lalla [deity]. He will return home after the interactive session called 'Jan Samvaad'.

"One may not call it a public rally but it would be like one as it is an open venue where hundreds of people, including a huge contingent of Shiv Sainiks and leaders from Maharashtra and media persons would be present. Our primary purpose is to not break any law but send the message across to the Modi government," said a senior Sena leader.

Unconfirmed reports have also said that the biggest conglomerate of religious leaders – Akhil Bharatiya Akhada Parishad – would not support the Sena and BJP-backed organisations in these events. The Akhada is unhappy with the one-upmanship between the parties fighting for the same cause and accuse them of politicising the Ram Temple issue which now is at a decisive stage in the Supreme Court.

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