Senior BJP leader and Union Minister Uma Bharti has extended her support to Shiv Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray's pitch for construction of Ram Temple during his maiden Ayodhya visit, saying her party doesn't have a patent on the issue. "I appreciate Uddhav Thackeray for his effort. BJP doesn't have a patent on Ram Mandir, Lord Ram is for all," ANI quoted Bharti as saying.
The drinking water and sanitation minister also made an appeal to the opposition parties, including the Samajwadi Party (SP), Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP), Akali Dal, All India Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen (AIMIM) chief Asaduddin Owaisi to "support the construction of Ram Temple in Ayodhya."
The remarks of the senior BJP leader came after her party colleagues – Uttar Pradesh Deputy Chief Minister Keshav Prasad Maurya – denounced Thackeray's Ayodhya visit, saying that the "Shiv Sena has no role in Ram temple movement."
Another BJP leader Surendra Singh, a lawmaker from Ballia, had also attacked the Sena chief. He said that Shiv Sena thrashes north Indians in Maharashtra and those who "don't even have the mentality to serve humanity" can't serve Lord Rama.
On Sunday, Uddhav Thackeray had slammed the ruling BJP and Prime Minister Narendra Modi for delaying the construction of Ram Temple despite having governments at both the Centre and Uttar Pradesh.
The Sena leader said that the Modi government will not return to power if they don't start the construction of a grand temple of Lord Rama in Ayodhya. He took a dig at the prime minister and dared him to tell people if Ram Temple was also an election "jumla".