Updated: February 4, 2021 8:19:50 am
Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackery on Wednesday said the BJP does not have a patent on Hindutva and that people now want an alternative ruling party in the country.
“When I went to Ayodhya after becoming the Chief Minister, I said I have parted ways from the BJP and not from Hindutva…BJP does not have a patent on Hindutva. It (BJP) should not say teri kameez meri kameez se bhagavi (saffron) kaisi,” said Thackeray. The chief minister was in a conversation with Loksatta editor Girish Kuber on the Marathi newspaper’s 73rd anniversary.
Thackeray added that with the Sena restricted to Maharashtra, a vacuum on Hindutva politics developed across the country. “And this vacuum needs to be filled up,” he said.
When asked whether this vacuum can be filled up on the lines of the Maharashtra Vikas Aghad experiment in the state, Uddhav said: “It can be filled up through a party standing on its own or other parties coming together. But people now feel that they need an alternative. When people want an alternative, the alternative always emerges.”
Thackeray added that the Sena will expand the party’s base in other states as well. “After the Babri masjid’s demolition, the late Sena supremo (Balasaheb Thackeray) said I am proud of the sainiks if they have demolished the Babri masjid. That statement led to the Sena gaining prominence across the country. But then our policy was that we were happy in the state (Maharashtra) and you (BJP) hoist the saffron flag across the country. So it led to many good Hindutva leaders from other states joining the BJP. Now if there are people who feel that the Sena and the BJP’s Hindutva is different and they want to work for the Sena, then let them work there,” said Thackeray.
He also asserted that he would complete the five-year term as the Chief Minister. “Earlier, they (BJP) said the government will fall. Now they are saying that it will break. Is it fun to break the MVA alliance? If they have courage, they should break the alliance,” he said without naming the BJP.
On his meeting with BJP leader and former finance minister Sudhir Munganitwar, Thackeray said: “I don’t think it will bear fruit. Now they should not hit the axe on the root.”
On shifting the Metro car shed from Aarey to Kanjurmag, Thackeray said: “The car shed at Kanjurmarg will save the forest at Aarey and create a facility at one place for three Metro lines that will connect the Metro network up to Badalapur. We don’t want to do things in a rush but make long-term planning with a vision.”
The chief minister added that Prime Minister Narendra Modi should work to give Maharashtra’s land for the development of the state itself.
He also reiterated that there is a need to reform the GST system. “The state governments do not get their rightful money on time. Maharashtra is ready to take an initiative in bringing non-BJP states together on the GST issue.”
On the Centre granting more relaxations of lockdown he said, “I will not follow the arbitrary directives of the Centre. I want to take care of my people and open up things gradually.”
📣 The Indian Express is now on Telegram. Click here to join our channel (@indianexpress) and stay updated with the latest headlines