Will follow Thackeray to Ayodhya, build mosque: SP chief’s kin

Mumbai: Uddhav Thackeray takes oath as the 17th Chief Minister of Maharashtra during his swearing-in ceremony in Mumbai on Nov 28, 2019. (Photo: IANS)

Mumbai, Jan 30 (IANS) Celebrity restaurateur Farhan Azmi here on Thursday set the political circles abuzz by saying if Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray would go to build a Ram temple in Ayodhya, he would build a mosque there.

“I have immense respect for Uddhav Thackeray. But if he is going to Ayodhya (on March 7) to build a Ram temple, I will accompany him and will construct a mosque there,” Azmi said.

Azmi, husband of ex-Bollywood actress Ayesha Takia and son of Maharashtra Samajwadi Party chief and MLA Abu Asim Azmi, also questioned Thackeray’s proposed visit to Ayodhya, instead of the Siddhivinayak Temple, here.

However, as the remark threatened to snowball into a political row, the state SP chief dissociated himself from his son’s statements saying he was not a SP member.

On the other hand, Shiv Sena spokesperson Manisha Kayande said since the issue had been settled by the Supreme Court, Farhan’s statement could amount to contempt of court.

Farhan was speaking at a meeting at the Radio Club, Colaba, organised by the Parcham Foundation and the Hum Bharat Ke Log to oppose the CAA-NRC-NPR. The restaurateur said he would invite his father, other Maha Vikas Aghadi (MVA) legislators and leaders to join him to build the mosque.

Kayande said since Abu Asim Azmi) had said Farhan was not a SP member, “what’s his locus standi on making such unwarranted statements”.

“This could be a contempt of the Supreme Court. The apex court has allotted some five acres of land for the mosque. He can go there and do whatever he wants. Why follow the CM?” Kayande told IANS.

Though the other MVA allies — the Nationalist Congress Party and the Congress — have not reacted to Farhan Azmi’s remark, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) state vice-president Kirit Somaiya expressed surprise over the Shiv Sena’s “silence on the issue”.

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