Accusing Sharad Pawar of doing nothing for the state, Shiv Sena president Uddhav Thackeray has said his party will not support the Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) chief for prime minister in 2014 just because he was a Maharashtrian and an old friend of his late father, Bal Thackeray.
In the concluding part of his interview to the party mouthpiece Saamna, which appeared on Thursday, Uddhav accused the Maratha strongman of double standards - of seeking support as a friend and yet poaching leaders from the Sena.
Sena support for Pawar in the future, if at all, would depend on his accepting its Hindutva ideology.
"Before we decide if we will support his candidature, we need to know what his policies are? Whether he accepts Shiv Sena's Hindutva? Will he accept us with the love we have for the Marathi manoos?" Uddhav said.
He went on to accuse Pawar of not doing anything for the state.
"He has been in Delhi for so many years, he has so much experience, but what has he done for the Marathi manoos? Have you dared to speak on the border dispute with Karnataka over Belgaum….? … So what kind of Marathi are you … this is all for power. As a father figure I respect you but this is of no use to Maharashtra," Uddhav said.
This interview, the first after his father's demise, is being seen as laying down of a roadmap for the party under Uddhav's leadership.
On the issue of a prime ministerial candidate, Uddhav said the NDA should announce a name as soon as possible.
"We should avoid last minute confusion. Why can't we sit together and have a discussion? Just like Balasaheb proposed Sushma Swaraj's name,
others should also put forth more names. We should not end up in a situation like the presidential elections (when Sena backed Pranab Mukherjee). We will have to select the prime minister of India," he said.
He did not endorse Swaraj's or anyone else's name for the top job of the country in the interview.
Meanwhile, reacting to the interview, NCP spokesperson Nawab Malik said:"Mr Pawar has never staked claim to PM post. He has in fact pointed out that NCP has limited numbers to talk of such a thing. We don't expect support from Sena and we will never adopt their ideology."