Shiv Sena chief Bal Thackeray on Thursday ridiculed the Indian cricketers, saying they became “zeroes” in the Twenty20 World Cup when they were heroes at the IPL.
“Our players play well during the IPL T20 matches but came a cropper during the World Cup,” Thackeray told reporters at Matoshree, his residence in suburban Bandra, after releasing the Sena Diary — a book containing contact numbers of all party members.
“Why can’t these players play well for their country?” asked Thackeray.
The Sena chief reiterated that his party would win two Legislative Council seats in next month’s elections.
He also opposed the caste-based census, saying it was detrimental to the interest of the country. “Caste-based census would be detrimental... there would be fissures in the country.”
Thackeray’s stance is in contrast to that of senior leaders of his party’s 25-year-old ally, the Bharatiya Janta Party (BJP), including MP Gopinath Munde.
Supporting the caste census, Munde had earlier said it would not divide people but help estimate actual population of Other Backward Classes (OBCs) in the country and highlight plight of the poor.
“Caste census will not divide the people but give justice to the poor and also help estimate the real population of the OBCs.”
Thackeray’s opposition to the BJP’s stand is yet another example of the widening rift in their views.
The BJP and the Sena also have opposite stands on creation of the separate state of Vidarbha.
While the Sena is pitching for a united Maharashtra, the BJP has been a believer of smaller states.