NCP chief Sharad Pawar on Sunday took a “pujari” dig at Union home minister Amit Shah for announcing that the Ram temple in Ayodhya will be ready by January 1, 2024 and said the matter is being raised to divert attention from real issues.
Pawar wondered whether the temple issue pertains to the Union home minister.
He also praised Congress leader Rahul Gandhi’s Bharat Jodo Yatra which he said will help in building consensus among Opposition parties.
“I am not sure whether this issue (Ram Mandir opening date) pertains to the Union home minister. Had Ram Mandir’s pujari (priest) said this then it would have been better, but there is no objection if he (Shah) is taking up the responsibility of the pujari….Issues like Ram Mandir are being raised to divert real issues,” Pawar said replying to a question from reporters.
His remarks come two days after Congress chief Mallikarjun Kharge slammed Shah at a rally in Panipat for announcing in poll-bound Tripura that the Ram temple will be ready by next January, wondering in what capacity the BJP leader said so as he is neither the “pujari” nor the “mahant” of the shrine.
Pawar also pitched for contesting the 2024 Maharashtra Assembly and the Lok Sabha polls together with the Uddhav Thackeray faction of the Shiv Sena and Congress, both constituents of Maha Vikas Aghadi (MVA).
He claimed despite a split in Shiv Sena, the majority of hardcore Shiv Sainiks who work on the ground stand behind Uddhav Thackeray.
With inputs from News18