Taking forward the cause of "Hindutva", Maharashtra Chief Minister Eknath Shinde on Sunday announced that he will visit Ayodhya on April 9.
This will be a second visit by a Maharashtra CM to the upcoming Ram Temple - in March 2020, then Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray had prayed there and now present Shinde will perform an 'aarti' there.
Shinde will be accompanied by his party Ministers, MLAs, MPs and other leaders on their maiden trip to Ayodhya.
Like Thackeray two years ago, Shinde will also perform the aartis and other rituals at the Sarayu River and worship Ram Lalla there, besides visiting the Shri Hanuman Garhi Temple.
The developments follow an invite by a Mahant of Ayodhya who extended a personal invitation to the CM to visit the Lord Ram Temple, and a week after the Maharashtra government sent the first consignment of prized teak-wood from Chandrapur district for the temple construction.
Earlier, then minister Aditya Thackeray had visited the Lord Ram Temple and offered prayers there in June 2022, barely a fortnight before the MVA government was toppled by a Shinde-led rebellion.
However, Maharashtra Navnirman Sena President Raj Thackeray - the estranged cousin of Uddhav - was prevented from going to Ayodhya in early June 2022 in view of threats by the Uttar Pradesh BJP MP Brijbhushan Sharan Singh, though the MNS-BJP are now cosying up in this state.
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