Over a Decade After Attack on North Indians, 2008 Episode Comes Back to Bite Raj Thackeray. May Face Trouble on Trip to Ayodhya

BJP MP Brij Bhushan Sharan Singh on Thursday opposed Maharashtra Navnirman Sena (MNS) chief Raj Thackeray’s visit to Ayodhya and said that he will not allow Thackeray to enter the city till he apologises to north Indians.

“Raj Thackeray and his partymen persecuted north Indians and thrashed poor autorickshaw and taxi drivers. Now if he wants to visit Ayodhya, I will not let him enter till he apologises to all north Indians. He has been indulging in divisive and violent politics. He tried to create a rift between the Marathis and north Indians. This will not be tolerated if he tries to enter Ayodhya, he has to apologise first,” Brij Bhushan Sharan Singh, MP from Kaiserganj Lok Sabha constituency and one of the leaders of the Ram Mandir movement, told India Today.

Before coming to Ayodhya, Raj Thackeray should apologise to all North Indians with folded hands, he said. In a series of tweets, the MP also requested Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath not to meet Thackeray till he apologised to the North Indians. I request Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath ji not to meet Raj Thackeray until he publicly apologises to the North Indians, he said.

The MP also said that Thackeray family had no contribution in the temple movement. “From the movement for Ram temple to its construction only Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh, Vishwa Hindu Parishad, and the common man have had a role. The Thackeray family has no role in it,” he said. Brij Bhushan was also an accused in the controversial Babri Mosque case, which was felled by kar sevaks’ in Ayodhya on December 6, 1992.

On April 17, Thackeray in Pune had announced he would visit Ayodhya on June 5 to seek blessings of Lord Ram. “On June 5, I will go to Ayodhya along with other MNS workers to have darshan of Lord Ram. I appeal to other people also to come to Ayodhya,” Thackeray had said in a press conference.

I have not gone out for a long time, was his reply when asked about the purpose of his visit. Speaking to media later at the event, Thackeray questioned RSS’ contribution too in the temple movement.

“How many kar sevaks’ lost their lives for this? It is because of the Supreme Court and the central government that the Ram temple is being established there. So I want to go there in the early stages (of construction). Later, once the temple is ready, everyone will visit it again,” he said.

He also slammed Thackeray for his statement about his uncle Bal Thackeray and the contribution of Shiv Sainiks in the construction of Ram Mandir.

In 2008, Raj Thackeray-led MNS activists had went on a rampage and attacked many railway board examination centres in Mumbai and chased away candidates from North India. In February that year, Pune and Nashik also witnessed massive violence as state-run buses were stone-pelted, shops were vandalised, forcing other shops and business establishments to close down.

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