Godhra Situation Might Repeat During Return of Ram Temple Inauguration Attendees, Says Uddhav

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“It is a possibility that the government could invite a large number of people for the Ram Temple inauguration in buses and trucks, and on their return journey, an incident similar to that in Godhra may occur,” Thackeray said in Jalgaon

MUMBAI — Shiv Sena (UBT) chief Uddhav Thackeray on Sunday claimed a “Godhra-like” incident may take place during the “return journey” of the large number of people expected to converge at Ayodhya in Uttar Pradesh from across the nation for the inauguration of the Ram Temple.

‘Karsevaks’ (Sangh Parivar term for volunteers who took part in the Ram temple movement) returning from Ayodhya on board the Sabarmati Express were attacked and their train coach set ablaze at Godhra station in Gujarat on February 27, 2002, leading to several deaths that triggered largescale riots across the state.

“It is a possibility that the government could invite a large number of people for the Ram Temple inauguration in buses and trucks, and on their return journey, an incident similar to that in Godhra may occur,” Thackeray said in Jalgaon, some 400 kilometres from here.

The Ram Temple is likely to be inaugurated in January 2024, just months ahead of the Lok Sabha polls.

Thackeray also slammed the Bharatiya Janata Party and the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) for not having icons whom people could idolise and instead appropriating legends like Sardar Patel and Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose.

He said they (BJP-RSS)were now trying to lay claim to has father Bal Thackeray’s legacy.

The BJP and RSS have no achievements of their own and it is not the size of the statue of Sardar Patel (the Statue of Unity in Gujarat’s Kevadia which at 182 metres is the highest such structure in the world) that matters but his achievements.

These persons (from the BJP and RSS) are not even close to achieving the greatness of Sardar Patel, the Shiv Sena (UBT) leader said.

The BJP has often targeted Thackeray for forsaking the ideals of Bal Thackeray in order to become chief minister by joining hands with the Congress and NCP after the 2019 Assembly polls.

The attacks have got more strident after the Shiv Sena split in June last year and both factions began calling themselves the true inheritors of the party founder’s legacy.

The BJP and Eknath Shinde-led Shiv Sena claim they are true adherents of Bal Thackeray’s Hindutva. — PTI

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