On his first visit to Ayodhya after being sworn in as the chief minister of Maharashtra in June last year, Shinde said that the ideology of his party (Shiv Sena) and that of the BJP is the same and they would unfurl the saffron flag all over Maharashtra next year.
During his Ayodhya visit, Shinde was accompanied by Maharashtra deputy chief minister Devendra Fadnavis, UP minister Swatantra Dev Singh and thousands of Shiv Sainiks.
After paying obeisance to Ram Lalla and overseeing the construction work of the temple, Shinde said: “It seems like a dream coming true. The idol will also be installed in January next year.”
“Nobody else did anything for the Ram Mandir. Only PM Modi fulfilled Balasaheb Thackeray’s dream of Ram Mandir. I am happy that the dream of ‘Hindu Hriday Samrat’ Balasaheb Thackeray and crores of ‘Ram bhakts’ is being fulfilled,” Shinde said.
“Balasaheb had given the slogan of ‘Garv se kaho hum Hindu hain’ (proudly say we are Hindu). So, the ideology of Shiv Sena and BJP is the same and we will unfurl saffron flags all over the state next year,” he added.
Maharashtra deputy CM Devendra Fadnavis shares aerial view of Shri Ram Mandir construction work in Ayodhya
“I have come here for the first time after becoming CM. Ram Temple is not a political topic for us, it’s a matter of faith,” he added.
“While Lord Ram took ‘vanvaas’ (exile) to fulfil his father’s promise, we all saw what happened on the ‘other side’. He (Uddhav Thackeray) went against his father’s legacy for the greed of power. People had voted for a BJP-Shiv Sena government, but some people took wrong steps, which we rectified 8-9 months back,” Shinde said, adding that some people are “allergic to Hindutva”.
“Hinduism is a way of life. It has tolerance and takes everyone along. Many are scared that if Hindutva reaches every household, then the political shop of those who are allergic to Hindutva will be closed,” Shinde said.
“The construction work of the Ram temple has started and Ayodhya will witness rapid progress and lakhs of people will benefit from it,” he said.
Earlier in the day, while talking to reporters in Lucknow before leaving for Ayodhya, Shinde said, “I am going to Ayodhya for darshan of Lord Ram. We have blessings of Lord Ram that is why ‘dhanush-baan’ (bow-arrow, election symbol of Shiv Sena) is with us.”
Ram temple was Balasaheb Thackeray’s dream: Maharashtra CM Eknath Shinde
Shinde takes out roadshow, pays obeisance to Ram Lalla
During their visit to Ayodhya on Sunday, chief minister Eknath Shinde and deputy chief minister Devendra Fadnavis carried out a roadshow with thousands of Shiv Sainiks.
They offered special prayers at Ram Mandir and attended the ‘maha aarti’ of the temple.
Both the leaders covered the 3km stretch from Ram Katha park helipad to the Ram Janmabhoomi in an open jeep.
After offering prayers at Ram Mandir and attending the ‘maha aarti’, both the leaders oversaw the construction work of the Ram temple. At the temple construction site, Shinde and Fadnavis were accompanied by Ram Mandir Trust secretary Champat Rai and trustee Anil Mishra.
Both the leaders also attended the gathering of seers and priests at Laxman Qila temple to take the blessings of the holymen and performed ‘aarti’ on the banks of river Saryu in the evening.
At Hanumangarhi, the Maharashtra CM was gifted a mace by temple mahant Raju Das.
“The ‘sagwan’ wood used in the temple is from Maharashtra and this is our small contribution,” Shinde said.
“We will take the soil from Ayodhya to Amravati, where a 111-foot statue of Bajrangbali will be built,” he added.
‘Under ‘bulldozer baba’, devpt is in full swing’
Praising Uttar Pradesh chief minister Yogi Adityanath for ushering in development in the state, his Maharashtra counterpart Eknath Shinde said that under Yogi, who is known as “bulldozer baba”, the state’s law and order is good and hooligans are scared.
“Hooligans are scared of ‘bulldozer baba’. Law and order is good and development is going on in full swing,” Shinde said.
“There is a stark difference between the old and the new Uttar Pradesh. The common man is very happy in UP. Roads have improved, there are lights everywhere and industries are coming to the state,” he said.
He said the entire atmosphere from Lucknow to Ayodhya had become “Ram-mai” (filled with slogans of Lord Ram).
Shinde said he has requested the UP CM to provide land in Ayodhya for the construction of a Maharashtra Bhavan which would be named after Shiv Sena founder Balasaheb Thackeray.