Ram temple consecration: Uddhav sent invitation by speed post; Sanjay Raut slams govt

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Mumbai, Jan 21 (PTI) Shiv Sena (UBT) president and former Maharashtra chief minister Uddhav Thackeray has been sent an invitation by speed post for the Ram temple consecration ceremony to be held in Ayodhya on Monday.

Sena (UBT) MP Sanjay Raut hit out at the government over the manner in which the Thackeray family has been treated.

Maharashtra minister Uday Samant, who belongs to the Shiv Sena led by Chief Minister Eknath Shinde, said speed post is used to ensure the invitation reaches faster and it has been done.

However, Raut reacted sharply to the speed post invite saying, "You worship Lord Ram, and rule like Ravan (demon king). Lord Ram will curse you. All film stars are invited but the Thackeray family that has been closely associated with movement is treated in such a manner." Uddhav Thackeray will be in Nashik for a two-day visit from Monday.

He will offer prayers at the Kalaram temple there and perform a 'maha aarti' on the Godavari river bank on Monday.

On Tuesday, he will participate in a day-long convention of his party in Nashik.

The much-awaited Ram temple consecration will be held in Ayodhya city of Uttar Pradesh on Monday in a grand ceremony with Prime Minister Narendra Modi attending the rituals, following which the shrine will be opened for the public a day later.

While more than 7,000 people are in the long list of invitees, the select list features 506 A-listers.

Those attending the "Pran Prathishtha" also include people linked to the agitation for the temple at the Ram Janmabhoomi.

Bollywood superstar Amitabh Bachchan, business tycoons Mukesh Ambani and Gautam Adani, and sporting icon Sachin Tendulkar are among the prominent people to be invited.

Almost all opposition leaders invited to the ceremony have declined to attend the ceremony, with the Congress calling it a BJP-RSS event. PTI MR GK