Mumbai: Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) leader Majeed Memon claimed Thursday that Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray has been invited for ‘bhoomi pujan’ of Ram Temple in Ayodhya. However, Majeed Memon advised him to refrain from ‘promoting a particular religious activity’. The NCP, however, immediately distanced itself from the remark.
“Uddhav Thakrey is among invitees for ‘bhoomi pujan’ of Ram Temple. He may participate respecting COVID-19 restrictions in his personal capacity. The head of a secular democracy should refrain from promoting a particular religious activity,” Memon, who is a lawyer and former Rajya Sabha member, tweeted Tuesday.
NCP distances itself
“It is his (Memon’s) personal opinion. Party’s position is clear that after the SC verdict the dispute is over. Hence, whoever wants to attend the ceremony can do so,” NCP spokesperson Sanjay Tatkare said later in the day.
The Thackeray-led Shiv Sena and NCP, along with the Congress, are part of the ruling coalition in Maharashtra. The Sena has always explicitly supported the construction of Ram Temple in Ayodhya.
Thackeray to attend
The Sena’s Rajya Sabha member Sanjay Raut said earlier in the day that Thackeray will ‘definitely’ attend the ‘bhoomi pujan’ or ground-breaking ceremony August 5 in Ayodhya 5.
Asked whether Thackeray had received an invitation for the ceremony, Raut said, “It will come.”
The apex court in November last year allowed the construction of Ram Temple through a trust at the disputed site in Ayodhya.