Arriving in Ayodhya ahead of a planned VHP rally for a Ram temple, Shiv Sena Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray asked the Narendra Modi government on November 24 to spell out the date when it would be constructed.Day, months, years and generations have passed, he said. “Mandir wahin banayenge, par date nahin batayenge [You say you will make the temple there, but won’t tell the date],” he said. “First say when will you construct the temple, the rest we will talk later,” he said in what sounded like a dare to the Bharatiya Janata Party–led government ahead of next year’s Lok Sabha elections.Mr. Thackeray arrived in Ayodhya for a two-day visit, which he claimed was not a political one. Ayodhya has been turned into fortress with multiple layers of security and deployment of drones in view of the Dharam Sabha organised by the Vishwa Hindu Parishad on November 25.Upon arrival, the Sena chief, along with his wife Rashmi and son Aditya, were greeted with slogans of “Jai Shri Ram”.The Sena, which has demanded that the construction of a Ram temple in Ayodhya be expedited by promulgating an ordinance to the effect, is believed to have sent some 3,000 Shiv Sena supporters by two trains from Maharashtra.The cadres, who arrived in Ayodhya before Mr. Thackeray, took a dip in the Saryu river and then prayed at Ram Lalla and Hanuman Garhi, Sena sources said.The Shiv Sena chief is reported to have brought a pot full of soil from Pune’s Shivneri Fort, which will be handed over to the priest at the Ram janmabhoomi site when he meets him later.This is Mr. Thackeray’s first visit to Ayodhya and party leaders, including MP Sanjay Raut and others, had been camping here for the last few days to make preparations for the visit.On the morning of November 25, Mr. Thackeray will visit the Ram Lalla temple, interact with the media and later with the public, party sources said.Ayodhya turns into fortressThe temple town will also witness another major congregation of Vishva Hindu Parishad (VHP) activists on November 25, who will be taking part in a Dharam Sabha. Security has been tightened at the disputed site with thousands of police and paramilitary personnel keeping a watch over the sensitive place. Ayodhya has been turned into fortress with multiple layers of security and deployment of drones.On the security arrangements in Ayodhya, Additional Director-General, Law and Order, Anand Kumar said the Supreme Court guidelines would be maintained in and around the disputed site.Ayodhya has been divided in 16 sectors and a security scheme is under force, according to Mr. Kumar, adding that additional force has been deployed for maintaining law and order and efforts are on to ensure that the events pass off peacefully.Barriers have been erected to regulate the surging crowd in the temple town and magistrates have been posted there.Everyone will have to adhere to the Supreme Court guidelines, Mr. Kumar said, adding that necessary steps had been taken to deal with all circumstances.When contacted, Ayodhya Mayor Rishikesh Upadhyay told PTI that adequate security arrangements were made by the police and district administration in the town, located 120 km from State capital, Lucknow.“As many as 13 parking slots have been provided for the event. No permission was given to the Shiv Sena by the government to hold a rally,” the Mayor said. Despite a slight chill in the air, the temple town seems to be reeling under the political heat generated by the Dharam Sabha, being held to call for the construction of a grand temple for Lord Ram.A pamphlet recently released by VHP raises the pitch for its construction. It reads “Saugandh Ram ki khaate hai, hum mandir bhavya banayenge [We pledge in the name of Lord Ram that we will build a grand temple for him]”, and urges devotees to be a part of the movement.VHP was founded on August 29, 1964 on the auspicious day of Shri Krishna Janmasthami. Its objective is to organise, consolidate the Hindu society and serve, protect the Hindu Dharma.The organisers of the Dharam Sabha claim that more than 3 lakh devotees of Lord Ram were likely to arrive for the programme on November 25.VHP media-in-charge Ambuj Ojha said, “After staying in a taat (tent), Lord Ram is expecting a revival of bravado among his devotees. The moment has come. The temple must be built where Ram Lalla is currently seated. Also, there should not be any mosque in the cultural boundary of Ayodhya.”On November 18, VHP had organised a motorcycle rally in different parts of Lucknow in this regard.Praant Sangathan mantra (Awadh) of VHP, Bholendra, in a written statement said this was the final Dharam Sabha for construction of Ram temple. “After this, no more Dharam Sabhas will be held and the construction of the temple will commence,” he said.The Supreme Court on November 12 had declined early hearing of petitions in the Ram Janmabhoomi-Babri Masjid title dispute case. A Bench comprising Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi and Justice S.K. Kaul said it already listed the appeals before the appropriate bench in January.Earlier, a three-judge Bench refused, by a 2:1 majority, to refer to a five-judge Constitution Bench the issue of reconsideration of observations in its 1994 judgement of the Allahabad High Court that a mosque was not integral to Islam. The matter had arisen during the hearing of the Ayodhya land dispute.