In a surprise development, a top priest from Ayodhya on Monday invited Maharashtra Congress President Nana Patole to Ayodhya and take darshan of the upcoming Ram Temple there.
The head of Dashrath Gadi in Ayodhya, Mahant Brijmohan Das, and others met Patole at the state party headquarters in Dadar and extended a formal invite for a visit to Ayodhya.
“Mahant Brijmohan Das was received with full courtesies. He invited Patole to visit Ayodhya and pray at the temple of Lord Ram,” said a party leader.
On his part, Patole thanked the visitors, accepted the invite and is likely to visit Ayodhya by May-end or early-June, said a party leader declining to be identified.
He said that the invite to the state Congress chief is a message to “some parties like the BJP or Maharashtra Navnirman Sena, which are trying to monopolise Lord Ram, and attempting to divide the Hindu community”.
Besides Patole, MNS President Raj Thackeray is also scheduled to visit Ayodhya in June, followed by his nephew and Shiv Sena minister Aditya Thackeray’s proposed trip on June 10.
In a related development, the state unit chief of the Samajwadi Party, Abu Asim Azmi, has expressed full support to BJP MP Brijbhushan Sharan Singh, who has demanded an apology from Raj Thackeray else he will not be allowed to enter Ayodhya on June 5.
“Azmi and Singh had a telephonic conversation in which the state SP chief has assured him of the party’s full support for the cause of the north Indian community in Maharashtra, who were terrorised by the MNS in the past,” said an aide of Azmi.