Mumbai, February 3: Shiv Sena chief and Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray has lashed out again at its estranged ally Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) for the break-up of ties and not honouring the promise made over equal sharing of the chief ministership. Thackeray, while asserting that the three-party alliance in the state cannot be called “immoral”, said that he did not ask for the “moon and stars”, but for the share in power to accomplish the promise done to his father, late Bal Thackeray.
Thackeray, in his first of the three-part interview to party mouthpiece ‘Saamana’ after becoming the chief minister, said that the BJP was responsible for the change in the power equation in Maharashtra. In the first part, published on Monday, Thackeray said the three-party alliance (with Nationalist Congress Party and Congress) cannot be called deviation from the ideology of the Hindutva and also reminded the BJP that it has joined hands with several parties with different ideologies at state and national level.
“They (BJP) did not keep their promise made to us before the Lok Sabha elections last year. Shiv Sena had decided to go solo in Lok Sabha elections, but the BJP leadership approached us for the alliance and we honoured their request. I even went for filing of nomination of Narendrabhai (Modi) and Amitbhai (Shah) to Ahmedabad and Varanasi. I did this for Hindutva and even campaigned for the alliance. What did we expect in turn? Did I ask for the moon and stars? I only expected the promise given to us be honoured. I had promised my father that I would install a Shiv Sainik in the chair of the chief minister and I had decided to go to any extend to fulfill it. Had they honoured the promise, I would not have been in the chair, some another Shiv Sainik would have occupied it,” he said.
Shiv Sena joined hands with NCP and Congress to form the Maharashtra Vikas Aghadi government in November last year after ending its three-decade-old alliance with the BJP. The Sena had demanded equal sharing of the chief minister post for two-and-a half years between, a demand which was refused by the BJP.
When asked about BJP allegation that Thackeray has compromised with the Hindutva agenda and gave up the principles, the Maharashtra chief minister questioned if the former’s alliance with Nitish Kumar, Mehbooba Mufti and Mayawati was a compromise. “Have I converted to some other religion? One should not be under the impression that theirs is the final word (on Hindutva). Has it been written there in the Constitution that what they (BJP) say is Hindutva? They talk about our ideology, but let me ask, how many ideologies have come together in NDA government at the Centre? Does your ideology match with that of Nitish Kumar and Ram Vilas Paswan? Did it match with Mehbooba Mufti, Chandrababu Naidu and Mamata Banerjee when they were in power with the BJP?” he said.
Thackeray also lashed out at the BJP’s alliance with Mehbooba Mufti’s Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) to form a government in Jammu and Kashmir in 2014. “They joined hands with the separatists and the government was formed after talks with terrorists,” he said.
Thackeray said that the Maharashtra BJP leaders have no right to criticise him for forging an alliance with Congress and NCP for power as the latter had inducted key leaders from these parties for political gain. “Many Congress, NCP leaders were inducted in BJP and were made MPs and MLAs. Was that based on the ideology? The leaders who had attacked Modi, were given entry into BJP and latter Modi went and campaigned for them. What type of morality is this? We do not need to learn ethics from them,” he said.