Chennai: Vishwa Hindu Parishad's Rama Rajya Rath Yatra, which started from Ayodhya, reached the Madurai district in Tamil Nadu on Wednesday.
The 39-day Rama Rajya Rath Yatra, which was flagged off from Ayodhya in February, has triggered severe protests across the state.
Vishwa Hindu Parishad's Rama Rajya Rath Yatra which started from Ayodhya reaches Madurai in Tamil Nadu. pic.twitter.com/5BlzZ4B7pF
— ANI (@ANI) March 21, 2018
Several leaders of Tamil Nadu-based political parties and other organizations were arrested on Tuesday as the Ram Rajya Rath Yatra entered Tirunelveli district in Tamil Nadu on Tuesday.
Opposition parties including the Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (DMK) created a ruckus in Tamil Nadu Assembly and condemned the All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (AIADMK) government for allowing the yatra in the state.
DMK working president MK Stalin, who is also the Opposition leader, said the yatra will disturb communal harmony, and affect law and order.
“This is AIADMK government or BJP (Bharatiya Janata Party) government,” he asked.
On Monday, Tirunelveli district collector Sandeep Nanduri imposed section 144 of the criminal procedure code from 19-23 March across the district.
The Rama Rajya Rath Yatra is slated to end in Rameswaram on March 25. The yatra will cover about 6,000km, demanding the construction of a Ram temple at Ayodhya.
The yatra that entered Puliyarai in Tirunelveli on Tuesday from Punalur in Kerala will pass through Sengottai, Ilanji, Tenkasi, Kadayanallur, Puliyangudi, Vasudevanallur, Sivagiri and proceed to Rameshwaram via Rajapalayam and Madurai.
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 are actively participating in it.
The RSS-linked groups will hold as many as 40 public meetings in six states to keep the Ram temple issues alive before 2019 Lok Sabha polls.
(With Agency inputs)