Reiterating Shiv Sena’s commitment to Hindutva, Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray on Saturday assured a donation of Rs one crore for the construction of the grand Ram mandir in Ayodhya.

In the process, 59-year-old Shiv Sena president, also took a dig at the Shiv Sena’s former ally, the BJP, saying “I have parted ways from BJP… not Hindutva… BJP is not Hindutva,” he said.

Uddhav, accompanied by his son Aditya and top Sena leaders visited Ayodhya and took darshans of Ram-lalla. Uddhav said that he has come to know that the Shri Ram Janambhoomi Teerth Kshetra Trust has opened a bank account. “We will donate Rs 1 crore from trust of family or party… a grand Ram mandir should come up as early as possible,” he said.

Uddhav said that a couple of days ago, he had spoken to hisUP counterpart and BJP leader Yogi Adityanath. “If we can get a place here, we would build a Maharashtra Sadan for devotees,” he said.

Uddhav said that every time he comes to Ayodhya, he draws inspiration and this is his third visit in one-and-a-half years. “I will come again… and again and again… I will keep coming to Ayodhya,” he said, recalling how his late father Bal Thackeray was associated with the Ram Janambhoomi movement.

A couple of days ago, in a letter written to Prime Minister Narendra Modi on the eve of Uddhav’s visit, senior Shiv Sena leader and MLA Pratap Sarnaik said: “The Union government recently announced the formation of a 15-member trust to undertake the work of construction of a Ram temple at Ayodhya. We regret that you have chosen to ignore the contribution of the Shiv Sena in the campaign for the construction of Ram Temple at Ayodhya”

“You will recall that after the Babri Masjid was demolished in 1992, late Balasaheb Thackeray had taken responsibility for the development. His stand had sparked a controversy in the country. Despite the angry reactions from different quarters, late Balasaheb had stuck to his stand. No one can forget the stand taken by late Balasaheb then and the contribution of thousands of Shiv Sainiks in the prolonged agitation for Ram temple,” Sarnaik wrote.

Content writer, Transaction Processing Associate at Accenture and Former Business Development Manager at Tradebulls Securities Pvt. Ltd.