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People have realised that BJP betrays people: Uddhav Thackeray calls for alliance of regional parties

Thackeray has been attacking Prime Minister Narendra Modi and the government after calling off seat-sharing talks with the BJP for Mumbai civic polls.

Uddhav Thackeray, BJP, Shiv Sena news, Latest news, India news, Maharashtra civic polls, Mumbai civic polls, Latest news, India news, National news, India news Uddhav Thackeray at a rally in Kandivli (E) on Wednesday. Amit Chakravarty

THE SHIV Sena, which snapped its alliance with the BJP for the civic polls in Mumbai would now seek to forge a grouping of regional parties, excluding the Congress, to take on the BJP across the country, party president Uddhav Thackeray said Wednesday. In an interview to The Indian Express, Thackeray said, “Looking at the current political scenario, I think there is a need to forge an alliance of all regional parties across the country. Often, national parties do not respect the state’s pride and they send their party activists as governors, impose upon the people a chief minister of their choice, and then the government is run based on their wishes.

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Sometimes decisions made by these people are against the state’s pride. That’s why it is necessary to form an alliance of regional parties now.”

Asked whether the Sena would take the first step to promote such an alternative front, he said, “I can take initiative but others will have to respond to it. The minimum common program will be the regional pride and nation’s interest.”

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After calling off seat-sharing talks with the BJP, the Sena’s partner for close to two decades in the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation, Thackeray has been attacking Prime Minister Narendra Modi and the BJP-led Central government at every rally of the party ahead of the Mumbai civic polls. Highlighting his party’s opposition to demonetisation, he has been reminding Modi of the 2014 poll-time promise of depositing Rs 15 lakh into the accounts of people after bringing back black money parked abroad. Thackeray has also been criticising Modi and BJP for their failure to deliver on the promise to build Ram Temple in Ayodhya. He will now campaign for the Sena in the Uttar Pradesh polls, and will perform a Ganga aarati in Varanasi — the PM’s Lok Sabha constituency.

Thackeray also challenged the BJP on the alliance partner’s demand for more transparency in the functioning of BMC by asking the Union government to invite the Lokpal to Cabinet meetings. “The note ban has damaged India’s reputation at the international level. People think those having black money are lining up before the banks. Nobody is telling us precisely who took the decision on demonetisation. So we also need a Lokpal in the Union Cabinet,” he said.

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On the Sena’s recent move to contest polls in UP and Goa, and on forging alliance with an RSS rebel in Goa and Patidar leader Hardik Patel in Gujarat, the Sena president said people were not surprised when the BJP took a similar step. “People feel surprised when they see the Sena with Hardik or Mamata. But why can’t they feel the same when the BJP is with Mufti Mohammed or Nawaz Sharif or Omi Kalani. There was a time when the saadhus, mahants and Shankaracharyas used to be with the BJP on the dais to give blessings. Nowadays their definition of parivartan has changed,” he said.

Thackeray also clarified that though Hardik Patel visited his residence Matoshree, there was no discussion on polls. “He had expressed his desire to come to Matoshree. So I suggested he should come on January 23, the birth anniversary of Balasaheb, due to the emotional bond. But, somehow, he could not come then,” he said.

Being anti-Modi would not be the criterion the Sena would be looking for to tie up with anyone, said Thackeray. “Wherever possible, the Sena will contest polls for the rights of the sons of the soil,” he said, adding that leaders such as Naveen Patnaik, Mamata Banerjee, Jayalalithaa and Nitish Kumar withdrew their support to the BJP and then won polls in their respective states. “It is because the people have realised that the BJP is not trustworthy and it betrays people,” said the Sena chief.

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Asked why the Sena has put Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis “on notice period” instead of just quitting the government, he said, “Mumbai polls and zilla parishad polls are coming. Let these things settle first. We will then take a call.”

On the prospects of mid-term polls in the state, Thackeray said this would depend on the BJP’s approach to its partner in the government.

 

First published on: 09-02-2017 at 05:16:59 am
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