NEW DELHI: The BJP on Monday expressly condemned Shiv Sena (UBT) chief Uddhav Thackeray‘s remarks that a “Godhra-like” incident may take place after the inauguration of Ram Temple in Ayodhya next year.
On Sunday, the former Maharashtra chief minister warned that an incident similar to Godhra may happen during the “return journey” of the large number of people expected to converge at Ayodhya in Uttar Pradesh for the inauguration of the Ram Temple.
“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 Maharashtra’s Jalgaon.He was referring to the horrific incident in February 2002 when ‘Karsevaks’ returning from Ayodhya on board the Sabarmati Express were attacked and their train coach set ablaze at Godhra station in Gujarat. The tragedy triggered largescale riots across the state.
Hitting out at Uddhav, BJP leader Ravi Shankar Prasad called his remarks “shameful and indecent.”
“All I would like to say is that this entire alliance, that is against PM Modi, can go to any limit for votes…I would like to pray to Lord Ram to give them some wisdom. This is a shameful and indecent remark. We condemn this,” Prasad said.
Union minister Anurag Thakur said that Uddhav has forgotten his ideology for the “greed of power”, a charge often raised by BJP.
“I don’t know what Balasaheb (late Shiv Sena founder and Uddhav Thackeray’s father) would have thought today and what Uddhav ji is doing today for the greed of power. Rahul ji and Uddhav ji did not say a word when so many things were said about Sanatan Dharma,” Thakur said.
Goa chief minister Pramod Sawant also reacted to the remarks, wondering why Uddhav has any apprehension regarding the inauguration ceremony of Ram temple.
The BJP has often targeted Uddhav for allegedly 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 BJP leaders sharpened their attacks after the Shiv Sena suffered a vertical split in June last year and both factions began calling themselves the true inheritors of the party founder’s legacy.
The Ram temple in Ayodhya is likely to be inaugurated in January 2024, ahead of the Lok Sabha polls due next year.
(With inputs from PTI)

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