Shiv Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray on Sunday morning offered prayer to Lord Ram Lalla. His family was present with him. On Saturday afternoon he arrived in Ayodhya along with his family for his two-day visit at the temple town. After darshan, he will interact with the media and later with the public.
The Sena chief arrived with his wife Rashmi and son Aditya amidst slogans of "Jai Shri Ram". On Saturday evening, he offered prayers on the banks of the Saryu river.
Ayodhya Row UPDATES:
9:58 am: Shiv Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray returns to the hotel after visiting the Ram Lalla temple
9:30 am: Uddhav Thackeray, along with his family, pays homage to Lord Ram
9:10 am: We’ve made all the arrangements for the programme (VHP’s dharma sansad). We’ve allotted spaces for parking, bypass is running smoothly & we’ll ensure it stays like that. ‘Darshan’ will be from the usual routes. We’ll do everything in an organized way: DIG Ayodhya, Omkar Singh
8:43 am: Shiv Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray leaves for darshan of Ram Lalla
8:22 am: Uddhav Thackeray to return for Mumbai at 3 pm
7:53 am: Uddhav Thackeray will address a public gathering at 12 pm
6:35 am: Uddhav Thackeray will address a press conference at 11 am
6:30 am: Shiv Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray will go for a darshan of Ram Lalla at 9 am
Thackeray mocks Modi govt over Ram temple:
Shiv Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray, on Saturday, asked the Narendra Modi government to wake up from a “Kumbhakarna-like slumber” and declare the date for its construction.
“I have come here to awaken the Kumbhakarana,” he said, indirectly comparing Modi, or his government, to the Ramayana character known for sleeping for months at a stretch. “Today's Kumbhakarna has been sleeping for the past four years," he said.
The Sena, which has demanded expediting the construction of a Ram temple in Ayodhya by promulgating an ordinance to the effect, is believed to have sent some 3,000 Shiv Sena supporters by two trains from Maharashtra.
The cadres who have already arrived in Ayodhya first took a dip in the Saryu river and then prayed at Ram Lalla and Hanuman Garhi, Sena sources said.
The Shiv Sena chief is reported to have brought a pot full of soil from the Shivneri fort in Pune, which will be handed over to the priest at the Ram janmabhoomi when he meets him.
This is Thackeray's first visit to Ayodhya and party leaders, including MP, Sanjay Raut, and others had been camping in Ayodhya for the last few days to make preparations for the visit.
VHP’s show of strength:
The temple town will also witness another major congregation of the Vishva Hindu Parishad (VHP) activists on Sunday who will be taking part in a Dharam Sabha. The VHP claimed three lakh people, including seers, will attend its public meeting, which has triggered some apprehension over the safety of the town’s Muslim community.
Samajwadi Party and former Uttar Pradesh chief minister Akhilesh Yadav said the Army should be deployed in Ayodhya, if needed, to maintain law and order.
Security has been tightened at the disputed site with thousands of police and paramilitary personnel keeping a watch over the sensitive place.
On the security arrangements in Ayodhya, Additional Director General law and order, Anand Kumar said the Supreme Court guidelines will be maintained in and around the disputed site.
Ayodhya has been divided in 16 sectors and a security scheme is under force, Kumar said, adding that additional force has been deployed for maintaining law and order and efforts are on to ensure that the events pass off peacefully.
Barriers have been erected to regulate the surging crowd in the temple town and magistrates have been posted there. If some people want to have darshans of the Ram Lalla they can do it as per the traditions and guidelines.
Everyone will have to adhere to the Supreme Court guidelines, he said adding, that necessary steps have been taken to deal with all circumstances.
WATCH VIDEO: Uddhav Thackeray performs 'maha aarti' on banks of river Sarayu
(With inputs from agencies)