The Shiv Sena will not quit the BJP government as yet, but will continue to act as an opposition within to enforce good governance, Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray said at the party's customary Dussehra rally at Shivaji Park on Saturday. He added that the party has no reason to give up ministries because the BJP shared power elsewhere with partners of different ideologies. And yet, Thackeray threatened the BJP asking it to mend its ways, especially its skewed Hindutva programme, if it wanted to continue partnership with its old ally. Attacking PM Narendra Modi and CM Devendra Fadnavis came naturally to Thackeray because he believes strongly that the BJP is trying to finish the Sena by hook or by crook. And when he fired salvos at the government in view of the 23 deaths in Friday's stampede at Elphinstone station, an 'unwarranted' bullet train, rising inflation, failed demonetisation, agrarian crisis and misleading policy on cow protection, Thackeray ensured that the parent body of the BJP, the RSS, was kept in good humour.
Shiv Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray at the rally on Saturday. Pic/Rane Ashish
For, it is known that when every thing fails to bind them, the common agenda of Hindutva works to unite the BJP and Shiv Sena. Knowing this, Thackeray cosied up with RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat. "I have highest the regards for Mohanji. I wanted him as the President [of India] because he alone could have made a Hindu nation a reality," he said, asking Sainiks to ponder seriously on Bhagwat's observation that allowing Rohingya Muslims in India would be a threat to national security. "If Bangladesh doesn't want Rohingyas despite they being Muslims, why should we have Bangladeshis here? Ask Bangladesh to take them back," he said.
BJP, are we not needed?
Thackeray asked Bhagwat whether the Sena was not needed. "Our alliance came into being decades ago only because of Hindutva. But it seems we are not needed," he said.
Then came a word of caution. "But let me say that the country is not owned by them (the BJP). They can't even make people say 'Vande Mataram'," he said. He told Modi to keep prices in control for at least five essential commodities or face perish in the next polls. He also told the BJP to quit the J&K government where it shared power with the PDP.
He said the BJP has begged for DyCMs posts in J&K and Bihar. "You can go with Muftis and Nitish Kumars but you have a problem with a Hindutva force like us?" he asked.
He said if the BJP had any plans to finish the Sena if could try its luck. "We have seen many in the past. There was Jan Sangh which later reemerged as BJP. Mind you, my party is still there and I'm confident that the people who voted the BJP to majority in 2014, will elect Sena the next time. The opposition is dead, but we are still kicking…"
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