Shiv Sena is trying to undermine the Supreme Court of India, while it is glorifying the leaders of its ally the BJP on the Ram Mandir issue in Ayodhya. It may be an endeavour to make the party chief Uddhav Thackeray’s second Ayodhya tour a grand success in the wake of a landslide victory of the Shiv Sena-BJP combine in Maharashtra in the recently concluded Lok Sabha elections. At the same time, the party wants to gain an upper hand over the BJP on the issue of the Hindutva. At any cost, Shiv Sena is in the search of a favourable ground, before Maharashtra Assembly elections which are due in October this year.
It is notable that Shiv Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray will visit Ayodhya on June 15. All 18 newly elected parliamentarians from the party will also accompany him. This will be Uddhav’s second tour. On November 25 last year, he had visited Ayodhya and received support of local people and saints. The Shiv Sena and BJP won a total of 41 seats out of 48 Lok Sabha seats in the state. The party is going to contest Assembly elections in alliance with the BJP. The seat sharing for the 288 membered Maharashtra Assembly is yet to be decided. Both the parties stake their claim for chief ministerial post. Before the Modi-Shah era, the Shiv Sena was the big brother of the BJP in Maharashtra and retained the post of CM. But after 2014’s Assembly elections, things changed. The BJP emerged as big brother and enjoys the post of CM. As of now, this is one of the major disputes between the two allies.
Actually, Shiv Sena MP Sanjay Raut on Monday said that Prime Minister Narendra Modi was the Supreme Court for his party because the country had elected him with an overwhelming majority. Earlier, he had said that courts would not do anything in the Ram Mandir matter. Just before it, the Supreme Court had fixed the hearing of the Ram Janmabhoomi–Babri Masjid land dispute cases for January before an appropriate bench last year. Sanjay Raut said, “We are not paying attention to what the Supreme Court verdict (on Ram Mandir issue) is and what date it gives (for the verdict). We don’t want to pay attention. The court won’t do anything in the Ram Mandir matter. We did not ask the court before demolishing the Babri structure 25 years ago.”
On being asked about the disputed statement, NCP leader and advocate Majeed Memon told Afternoon Voice, “Sanjay Raut appears to be an educated person and he has some knowledge about provisions of the Constitution of India. He must record, just a fortnight ago when the Prime Minister addressed all newly elected parliamentarians in the Central Hall of the Parliament, he first respected and kissed the copy of the Constitution of India. Sanjay Raut should appreciate that the Constitution of India very clearly explains as to the extent and limitation of the power of various constitutional functionaries, no executive is above the law.”
“The Supreme Court has to independently decide the issue on merits. Sanjay Raut also knows that the dispute relating to the Babri Masjid-Ram Janmabhoomi temple is under active consideration of the Supreme Court. And neither PM Narendra Modi nor Amit Shah nor Yogi Adityanath can claim to be above the Supreme Court. All three of them together also are subordinates to the Supreme Court. Therefore, the statement of Sanjay Raut is not only immature, irresponsible but also ridiculous,” he added.
Shiv Sena leader’s statement has raised a serious question over the party’s faith in the Constitution of India, according to which the Supreme Court is supreme in any dispute. Its ally in Maharashtra and at the Centre, the BJP is also under question. In coming days, both the parties have to make their stand clear on the Constitution and the constitutional organisations.
The Shiv Sena’s all seasoned friend the BJP disowns itself from the disputed statement of Sanjay Raut. BJP spokesperson Sambit Patra refused to comment on this issue. When asked whether they are supporting the Shiv Sena leader or opposing him, he said, “I will ask my top leaders, only then I can say anything on this issue.”
Shiv Sena leader Sanjay Raut on Monday said that to him, Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Home Minister Amit Shah, and Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath are equivalent to the Supreme Court. He said that the construction of Ram Mandir will start by the end of this year.
Mahila Pradesh Congress General Secretary Manisha Rote said, “It is a shocking statement for the Indian democracy. He has challenged the Constitution of the country.”
Sanjay Raut said, “The decision will be taken by the majority. Don’t the voices of 125 crore people matter? The Supreme Court will continue to do its work. But we have many ways to go ahead. What is the Supreme Court for us? For us, Supreme Court is Narendra Modi ji, Amit Shah ji, Yogi ji and people. During campaigning, main issues including Ram Mandir, section 370 and Uniform Civil Code were raised. These are issues of national interest and people voted for us based on these issues.”
He said, “Under the leadership of Modi and Adityanath, Ram Mandir will be constructed. Ram Mandir will be constructed now. Nobody can stop the construction of Ram Mandir. In 2019, NDA got a huge majority. Ram temple is one of the issues. This is why nobody can stop it neither law nor those who are against the construction. This is the decision of people that’s why they have voted us to power.”
Shiv Sena spokesperson Manisha Kayande said, “It is not a challenge to the Supreme Court. But we are expecting a big step from PM Narendra Modi on this issue like he may come up with an ordinance for the construction of Ram Mandir in Ayodhya. The BJP has said that it will come forward with full strength in this matter.”
Sanjay Raut also said that after country’s first home minister Sardar Patel, it is Amit Shah who has the ability to resolve the Kashmir issue. Amit Shah is a capable Home Minister to resolve the Kashmir problem. He talks about country, Hindutva. There are no two opinions over Kashmir being an integral part of India.