Mumbai (Maharashtra) [India], July 20 (ANI): Shiv Sena's South Mumbai MP Arvind Sawant on Monday said that his party was the first to demand a grand Ram temple in Ayodhya.
Sawant told ANI that party leader Uddhav Thackeray will take the decision to visit Ayodhya or not if invited.
"As a Shiv Sainik, I can say that late Balasaheb Thackrey had said that Ram Temple should be built in Ayodhya as it is a matter of faith to crores of people. In 1992, Balasaheb had said that if my Shivsainik has demolished the Babri Structure, then I am proud of them. Shiv Sena is the first party to have demanded Ram Temple at the disputed site," said Sawant.
"Our party has been demanding Pahle Mandir fir Sarkar, (Temple first, then government) over the years," he added.
Shiv Sena leader said that Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray visited Ayodhya many times.
"It is a fact that the whole world is suffering due to coronavirus. But, what is the imagination of Ram Rajya (Rule of Lord Rama), the welfare of everyone? Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray is working for the welfare of people, hence following the path of Ram Rajya. UdhhavJi repeatedly visited Ayodhya and continues to do so," he said.
"Shiva Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray will take the decision whether to visit Ayodhya and participate in the foundation laying ceremony which will likely to be held on August 5, if invited. Thackeray had also given an amount of Rs 5 crore for Ram temple construction. We will not be pained if we are invited or not. Our faith will remain intact," he added.
Reacting on NCP chief Sharad Pawar's statement that some people think coronavirus can be eradicated by building a temple, Sena leader Sawant said,"Pawar saheb is respectable to us. He is a leader of tall stature. It is not for me to comment on his statement".
Shri Ram Janmabhoomi Teertha Kshetra Trust proposed two dates in August for laying the foundation stone of a Ram Temple in Ayodhya.
The Trust had invited Prime Minister Narendra Modi to lay the foundation stone of the temple either on August 3 or 5. (ANI)