Uddhav Thackeray slams door on Devendra Fadnavis, appeals to Narendra Modi-Amit Shah, RSS
With Friday's tirade, Uddhav Thackeray has almost ensured Devendra Fadnavis will not get a second term even if the saffron alliance is put back on rails.
Uddhav Thackeray on Friday took the rift between his Shiv Sena and ally BJP to the national level. Escalating his attack, Uddhav not only labelled a section of BJP leaders "liars" but even went to the extent of saying the BJP shouldn't take sole credit for the outcome of the Ayodhya verdict.
However, playing the game intelligently, Thackeray kept the lines open for negotiation, but made it clear, it will have to be done by the central BJP leadership — PM Narendra Modi or party president Amit Shah — and the RSS channel.
Putting an end to speculation on whether BJP-Sena will form government, Thackeray categorically stated that unless outgoing chief minister Devendra Fadnavis endorses the Sena's claims, there was no question of supporting the BJP.
Reiterating that the BJP did promise equal share of power, Uddhav said, "Devendra is a good friend of mine. It is unfortunate that the CM is trying to project me as a liar. Now the ball is in the BJP's court. The BJP should come clean on what it had promised. I am not interested in having any kind of alliance or relations with those who are trying to project the Thackeray clan as liars."
Shiv Sena leader Sanjay Raut outside NCP president Sharad Pawar's residence on Friday
Two weeks after results were declared, a new government is yet to be formed. The saffron alliance has got a clear majority of 161 seats in the 288-member House. But, the Sena has refused to support the BJP unless the latter honours the commitment it had apparently given before the Lok Sabha polls. The Sena has been insisting on equal share in power, including sharing of the CM post.
In fact, tension between the warring saffron parties increased further, as an irked Thackeray said the BJP should not seek to take credit for the outcome of the Ayodhya case. "I don't know what is going to be the outcome of the case. But, the BJP should not claim credit for the outcome. It is the judiciary that is going to deliver the verdict and the BJP has no role to play in the same," he told the media at the party in Dadar on Friday.
Sena MLA Eknath Shinde at the Sena Bhavan for a meeting with Sena chief Udhhav Thackeray
The Sena-BJP alliance was inked in late 1980s on the Hindutva agenda. But, in recent years the saffron alliance has witnessed turbulence, with the two contesting elections separately in 2014.
While taking on the BJP and standing firm on his stand, Thackeray intelligently kept the line open for negotiations through mediation. "I have been referred to as chhota bhai (younger brother) by the PM. But, some BJP leaders are not able to digest the good equation we share," Thackeray said, launching a veiled attack on BJP leaders who have been taking digs at the Sena leadership, despite being in alliance for nearly three decades.
Sena MLA Sunil Prabhu outside Rangsharda hotel in Bandra where party MLAs have been holed up
Thackeray also mentioned that just like the BJP claims it will form government, the Sena too has the right to explore all options. "They should make the claim to form the government. If they (BJP) can explore other options, why can't the Sena do the same?" he said.
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