Shiv Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray on Tuesday hit out at Prime Minister Narendra Modi over his policies including demonetisation, saying it does not matter how wide his chest is, but he should have a heart inside. “I had good relations with Narendrabhai. There is no personal enmity, but when you find that his policy is causing damage to the country, then one has to oppose…Modiji is not my enemy, but I have the right to say what is good and what is bad,” he said in an interview to India TV.
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Hitting out at the Centre’s demonetisation move, the Shiv Sena chief said no affluent person died because of ‘notebandi’. “Did affluent people die because of notebandi? Nearly 200 persons lost their lives while standing in the queues. One of them was a jawan of BSF,” he said.
“It doesn’t matter to me how many inches wide his chest is, but he should have a heart inside his chest,” a press release quoted Uddhav as having told the channel.
Thackeray said the central government made people stand in queues for money.
“In their manifesto, they (BJP) had promised to bring back black money stashed in Swiss banks and put it into people’s accounts. Demonetisation could be the Prime Minister’s own decision, but how many people were rendered jobless, how many people died? Unemployment has increased, who is responsible for that?
“Even today, we read reports of fake Rs 2,000 currency notes being seized. Did it stop terror attacks? Did the government get black money? Was corruption brought to a halt? Has the circulation of fake currency stopped? I didn’t notice a single rich man standing in queues,” the Shiv Sena chief said.
Thackeray said Samajwadi Party leader Akhilesh Yadav should be given “one more chance” to become Chief Minister of Uttar Pradesh.
“Why shouldn’t I praise Akhilesh? He is doing good work and he should get another chance (to become CM). He is a young man, and if he doesn’t make any mistake, he should get a chance,” he said.
Asked whether his party would snap its ties with BJP in Maharashtra altogether, Thackeray quipped: “They (BJP) can also take the decision (to break the alliance), why should I take? Could they have formed the government without our support?”
When asked whether the Devendra Fadnavis government will last its full term, he said,” I don’t know”.
Despite the two parties having decided to go separately in the local bodies elections in Maharashtra, they are in the alliance government both in the state and at the Centre.
The Shiv Sena chief questioned Prime Minister Modi’s “closeness” to NCP chief Sharad Pawar, saying “During the elections, Modiji used to level charges of corruption against chacha-bhatija (Sharad Pawar and Ajit Pawar) but now he visits Sharad Pawar ji at his residence and says he is my guru. Isn’t it a duplicitous policy?”