Uddhav Thackeray arrives in Ayodhya (Lead)
Ayodhya : Shiv Sena President Uddhav Thackeray, accompanied by his wife Rashmi and son Aditya, arrived here on Saturday.
Upon his arrival, he was greeted by senior Shiv Sena cadres and other officials to the slogans of "Jai Sri Ram".
He left for the Laxmi Fort from the air strip in a heavily guarded cavalcade of cars.
Earlier in the day, two trains full of Shiv Sena cadres had arrived in the temple town.
The cadres first took a dip in the Saryu river and then prayed at Ram Lalla and Hanumagrhi.
Section 144 has been clamped in the town which prohibits the gathering of four or more persons at any public place.
On Sunday morning, Thackeray will go for a darshan of Ram Lalla accompanied by local party leaders, sants and sadhus, interact with the media and later with the public, though plans for a public rally were not finalised yet.
For the Ayodhya visit, Thackeray is carrying an urn containing the earth from the Shivneri Fort - the birthplace of Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj in Pune district of Maharashtra.
Over 4,000 Shiv Sainiks from Maharashtra, besides more from other parts of the country have preceded him to Ayodhya since the past couple of days, a party spokesperson said.
Party leaders including Sanjay Raut, Ministers Eknath Shinde, Rajan Vichare, Mumbai Mayor Vishwanath Mahadeshwar and others have been camping in Ayodhya since the past few days to prepare for Thackeray's visit.
This will be the Thackerays' first-ever visit to the holy city, though in the past his father and founder of the Shiv Sena, the late Bal Thackeray had travelled to Uttar Pradesh on a couple of occasions.
The party's prime demand is to expedite the construction of the Ram Temple in Ayodhya by promulgating an Ordinance to the effect.