DMK acting president MK Stalin has urged the Tamil Nadu government to act immediately to stop the Ram Rajya Rath Yatra from entering the state. According to the DMK strongman, the Rath Yatra will disturb the communal harmony and peace in Tamil Nadu.
Stalin has reportedly released a statement saying that the yatra, organised by the Vishwa Hindu Parishad, would be contempt of court as the Ram Janmabhoomi-Babri Masjid dispute case is pending before a Constitution Bench of Supreme Court. He added that the move by the VHP can also been seen as a pressure tactic.
The statement from Stalin comes even as there were reports of a group announcing a protest against the Ram Rajya Rath Yatra in Tirunelveli in Tamil Nadu. Following their call for protest, section 144 was enforced in the area with immediate effect, and would remain imposed till March 23.
According to The Hindu, Stalin also hit out at Tamil Nadu Chief Minister E Palanisamy, accusing him of giving the nod to the Rath Yatra to protect his government and chief ministership.
On Monday, four independent MLAs in the Tamil Nadu Assembly had staged a walkout demanding ban on the yatra entering the state.
The 39-day Ram Rajya Rath Yatra was flagged off from Ayodhya in February and is slated to end in Rameswaram on March 25. While initially Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath was expected to flag it off, but he skipped the event for poll campaign in Tripura.
The Yatra was flagged off by VHP general secretary Champat Rai amid chanting of 'Jai Sri Ram' and 'Ram lala hum aayenge, mandir wahin bananyenge' slogans.
The yatra is being carried on a special wooden carved Rath (chariot), depicting design and replica of the proposed Lord Ram temple in Ayodhya. It took four months from artisans in Maharashtra to carve the rath having 28 pillars with a cost of over Rs 25 lakhs.
Though the BJP and its leaders have deliberately kept themselves away from the Ram Rajya Rath Yatra, the RSS and its offshoots will actively participate in the yatra as well as 40 public meetings it will hold in six states to keep the Ram temple issues alive before 2019 Lok Sabha polls.
(With agency inputs)