Months after quitting the BJP-led NDA alliance, Maharashtra Chief Minister and Shiv Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray Monday lashed out at former alliance partner BJP for not keeping the promise of sharing the chief minister’s post and on Hindutva.
Shiv Sena and BJP had fought last year’s Maharashtra polls together but had a fall-out after elections on the issue of chief minister’s post. While the BJP was adamant on sticking with Devendra Fadnavis as the CM, Sena asked its alliance partner to stick to the 50:50 formula agreed upon before polls which promised a Sena chief minister in Maharashtra.
In an interview given to Sena mouthpiece Saamana, Thackeray said, “When they broke the promise in such way, I did not have any other option. What did I ask from BJP? Did I ask moon and stars from BJP? I had asked the things that were decided between us during the Lok Sabha polls.”
“We came together for Hindutva which has lot of importance for giving and keeping the promise. If the promises are being broken, then I’m not ready to accept such Hindutva,” the Sena chief added.
Thackeray said it was Home Minister Amit Shah’s visit which persuaded him to go together with the BJP in the Lok Sabha polls. “When they (BJP) approached us, I forged the alliance with a view that the relations will improve. Then, I went to Ahmedabad and Varanasi during the filing of nominations by Amit Shah and Narendra Modi respectively.”
He further said that despite the seat-sharing issues during the Maharashtra Assembly polls, he kept the alliance intact with the BJP for “Hindutva”.
On the accusations about his party’s abandoning its Hindutva ideology after forming an alliance with Congress and NCP, Thackeray said, “Have I converted to any other religion? Is it that whatever you (BJP) say is the final word on Hindutva? Or Has it been written in the Constitution that what they (BJP) say is Hindutva? Nobody should think that they are all-knowledgeable. The ridiculous claim of what we (BJP) say is truth and what others say is lie can be implemented in their office.”
Uddhav further reiterated that the Sena is and will remain firm on Hindutva. “There will be no compromise on it,” he said.
Justifying the party’s alliance with Congress and NCP, Uddhav said, “How many parties are there in the Union government? How many ideologies they have? Is Nitish Kumar’s and BJP’s ideology the same? Was it the same with Mehbooba Mufti, Chandrababu Naidu, and Mamta Banerjee when they were in power?” asked Uddhav.
“Everyone has their ideology. We are Hindutvavadi and will remain Hindutvavadi. Congress and other parties have different ideologies. But, do they have different ideology when it comes to the interests of the state and Centre? We don’t want to create anarchy in the country but have come together for the state’s interests. Have we committed the mistake like that of Kashmir (of tying-up with separatists)?” he said.
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