New Delhi [India], May 20 (ANI): Union Minister of State for Social Justice and Empowerment, Ramdas Athawale on Friday welcomed the postponement of Maharashtra Navnirman Sena (MNS) chief Raj Thackeray's plan to visit Ayodhya, and said that Thackeray should seek an apology from the North Indians, especially the people of Uttar Pradesh before planning his visit.
Thackeray was scheduled to visit Ayodhya on June 5. The MNS chief while announcing the postponement of his Ayodhya visit said today that he will share more details on his visit to Ayodhya at his rally in Pune on May 22.
Speaking to ANI, Athawale said, "If Raj Thackeray wants to go to Ayodhya, then he should first apologize to the people of Uttar Pradesh and North Indians then come to Ayodhya."
The Minister said that Thackeray has no right to visit the state without apologizing to the people for starting a movement against the North Indians in Mumbai, and for beating up those from Uttar Pradesh.
The Minister's remark came as Raj Thackeray had earlier made several distasteful remarks against the migrants from the North Indian states.
Athawale also questioned the reason for the MNS Chief's visit "after such a long time"
"Raj Thackeray has the right to go to Ayodhya, but then why has he remembered to visit Ram Mandir after so long. Thackeray lives in Mumbai, his party workers raised slogans against North Indians and beat them up; that is why people of Uttar Pradesh do not want him to come to Ayodhya," he said.
Meanwhile, Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) MP from Uttar Pradesh Brijbhushan Sharan Singh on Thursday said that he will not allow Raj Thackeray to enter Ayodhya until he apologises to the north Indians.
Singh said that he has also requested Chief Minister Adityanath as well not to meet Thackeray until he seeks an apology.
"He must apologise to North Indians else I won't allow him to enter Ayodhya. I have requested UP CM Yogi Adityanath as well not to meet him until he seeks an apology," said the BJP MP on MNS chief Raj Thackeray's visit to Ayodhya.
Notably, the MNS had put up 'Chalo Ayodhya' posters in Mumbai, appealing to people to join party chief Raj Thackeray on his visit to Ayodhya in Uttar Pradesh. (ANI)