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BJP on defensive, says no one can stop devotee of Lord Ram

“Anyone can visit Lord Ram and seek his blessings,” Devendra Fadnavis said.

“Anyone can visit Lord Ram and seek his blessings,” Devendra Fadnavis said.

Even as a section of Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leaders continue to demand apology from Maharashtra Navnirman Sena (MNS) chief Raj Thackeray for his remarks against people of Uttar Pradesh before his Ayodhya visit, the party on Thursday took a defensive stand and said that nobody can stop anyone from visiting religious places and demand for apology is personal opinion, not of the BJP.

Joining the demand of apology raised by Gonda’s Lok Sabha MP Brij Bhushan, Mumbai BJP spokesperson Sanjay Thakur on Thursday wrote a letter to Mr. Thackeray asking him to first apologise for violence that his party workers committed against North Indians in Mumbai. “If you do (apologise) so, I will personally join your convoy from Lucknow to Ayodhya to welcome you. But in case you don’t I will be forced to oppose you along with Lok Sabha MP Brij Bhushan Sharan Singh,” he said.

The Mumbai unit of the BJP reacted on Mr. Thakur’s letter, saying that it was his personal opinion. Udaypratap Singh, Mumbai BJP spokesperson, said that the party is not in agreement with the letter. “Any person can visit any religious place in the country as per his wish. Every devotee of Lord Ram is welcome to visit Ayodhya,” he said.

Senior BJP leader and former Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis on Wednesday had said that BJP MPs should not oppose Mr. Thackeray’s visit to Ayodhya. “Anyone can visit Lord Ram and seek his blessings,” he had said.

MNS leader and former MLA Bala Nandgaonkar had earlier said, “The visit of Mr. Thackeray will happen and entire state will rise in protest if anything happens to Raj saheb.”

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