In a scathing attack on former ally BJP, Shiv Sena president Uddhav Thackeray Saturday blamed it for the alliance’s break-up while claiming it was party patriarch Bal Thackeray who saved Narendra Modi as Gujarat chief minister in the wake of the nationwide clamour for his removal post-Godhra riots.
Addressing the party’s first poll rally Satuday evening, two days after the BJP broke the 35-year-old alliance, Thackeray said senior Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader L.K.Advani, the then union home minister, had sought his father’s views on the issue of sacking Modi when they met here.
“The late Balasaheb (Thackeray) had categorically advised Advani that if Modi was removed as chief minister, BJP would lose Gujarat forever,” Thackeray said amidst applause from the gathering at Mahalaxmi Race Court.
Blaming the BJP leaders for being in a tearing hurry to split the alliance, he said now “the people of Maharashtra will teach them a lesson”.
“They have seen the (Modi) wave in Lok Sabha elections… Now, the people of this state will show them what a wave means. We shall not rest till we install a Sena chief minister,” he asserted.
Though the Sena felt sad after the BJP broke the alliance, Thackeray said it was actually good for the state since “we tolerated a lot in the past 25 years before they abruptly broke up”.
“Nobody should get the impression that we are now reduced to cats – a tiger will always be a tiger. We will teach them how to uphold and protect Hindutva,” he warned.
He urged the people of Maharashtra not to be under any impression that the ‘Modi Wave’ will continue forever.
“Look what happened in Bihar, Uttar Pradesh, Rajasthan and Gujarat. We had cooperated with them in the Lok Sabha elections which is why they got so many seats- and now they kick us like this,” he said.
He accused the BJP of making unreasonable demands for seats in Maharashtra since “they had already made up their mind days ago to break ties”.
“I am ready to give them all the 288 assembly seats and even the 48 Lok Sabha seats. But first, the BJP must get back our captured territories in Jammu and Kashmir from Pakistan and China and the usurped land of the Kashmiri Pandits,” Thackeray demanded, to more applause.
“Maharashtra has seen many aggressors, Aurangzeb, Adil Shah, Qutub Shah. There has been lot of ‘Shah-i Masti’ (royal mischief) in the state, but they were all wiped out,” Thackeray declared, in an oblique reference to BJP president Amit Shah.
Paying rich tributes to the late Gopinath Munde, who died in a road accident soon after becoming a union minister, Thackeray said the BJP does not have a single leader of his calibre in the state now.
He noted that during the days of Advani, Atal Bihari Vajpayee, Pramod Mahajan and Munde, the Sena and the BJP had differences, but the situation never deteriorated so much.
“Munde was like a family member to us. His daughters Pankaja and Pritam are like my sisters. Sena will contest all the seats in the state, but will not put up candidates opposite them in the assembly and Lok Sabha respectively,” he assured.
Thackeray reiterated that he was not eyeing the post of chief minister “but if the people of the state desired then he would not shy away from accepting the responsibility”.