Ahead of the inauguration ceremony of Ram temple in Ayodhya, Shiv Sena (UBT) chief Uddhav Thackeray on Saturday asked President Droupadi Murmu to perform the key rituals.
“As this (Ayodhya Ram temple) is a matter of national pride and related to the country's self-respect, the inauguration ceremony should be held by President Murmu,” Thackeray said.
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In a press conference, the former Maharashtra chief minister also invited President Murmu to the Kalaram temple in Nashik where he will visit on January 22, the day of the inauguration ceremony of the Ayodhya temple.
Thackeray, along with INDIA bloc leaders like Mallikarjun Kharge and Sonia Gandhi, has declined the invitation to the upcoming inauguration ceremony of the Ram temple in Ayodhya.
Uddhav Thackeray said he would instead stay at the Kalaram temple, which is believed to have been one of the places where Lord Ram stayed during his exile from Ayodhya. Here also Dr. Babasaheb Ambedkar and Marathi social activist Sane Guruji led a campaign in 1930 to allow Dalits access to temples.
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Thackeray along with his party leaders and office-bearers will visit the historic Kalaram temple in Nashik and perform 'Maha Aarti' on the banks of Godavari river.
“It is a moment of joy as the Ram temple will be consecrated on January 22 in Ayodhya after a struggle of over 25-30 years. Therefore, we will take darshan of Lord Ram at Kalaram Temple in Nashik on the same day. “This is the same temple that Dr. Babasaheb Ambedkar and Sane Guruji had to fight to allow Dalits entry into the temple, saying Ram belongs to everyone,” Thackeray said.
A day later (January 23), the party will also hold a party workers' convention in Nashik where Thackeray will address a rally. Thackeray said Shiv Sainiks, who was part of the 'Kar Seva' in 1992, will also be felicitated in Nashik.
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A delegation of Ram Temple Trust visited President Murmu on Friday and formally invited them to attend the consecration ceremony in Ayodhya. The delegation comprised acting Vishva Hindu Parishad (VHP) president Alok Kumar, Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) chief Ram Lal and Ram Temple Construction Committee chairman Nripendra Mishra.
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