Shiv Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray on Sunday said in Ayodhya that the Centre should bring in an ordinance for the construction of the Ram temple, PTI reported. “Ram temple has to be constructed at the earliest,” he said. “Prime Minister [Narendra Modi] has courage and Hindus of the whole world are with him.”

The Shiv Sena had on Saturday said that the Bharatiya Janata Party won the Lok Sabha elections with a clear majority because of its pledge to build the Ram temple in Ayodhya. “We don’t want to take any credit for the construction of Ram temple,” Shiv Sena leader Sanjay Raut told ANI on Saturday. “Earlier also we had said that it would be constructed under the leadership of Modi and Yogi [Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Adityanath]. The majority in 2019 polls for the BJP -led NDA is for the construction of Ram temple.”

Thackeray offered prayers at the makeshift Ram Lalla shrine in Ayodhya on Sunday. All 18 newly-elected MPs accompanied him. “This time, the atmosphere is better,” Raut had said on Saturday. “Earlier, the atmosphere was tense.”

Thackeray had last visited Ayodhya in November 2018 when he had asked the Centre for a date for the construction of the Ram temple. The Shiv Sena has also demanded that an ordinance be introduced to facilitate the construction of the shrine. Raut said Thackeray had said during his last visit that the matter is not political but about faith.

On June 7, Raut had said that “people will beat us with shoes” if the BJP and Shiv Sena continue to delay the Ram temple matter. “Now the election is over, the government is back, so should we forget Ram Lalla and Ayodhya?” he had asked.

The Supreme Court had earlier this year sent the Ayodhya land dispute to an external mediation panel, led by retired Supreme Court judge FMI Kalifulla and comprising spiritual leader Ravi Shankar and senior advocate Sriram Panchu.