Shiv Sena, a constituent of BJP-led NDA, on Monday defended Gujarat chief minister Narendra Modi's "Hindu nationalist" remark, saying JD(U)'s decision to snap ties with the party was "wrong".
"Modi made no mistake by saying that he is a Hindu. It was wrong on the part of Bihar chief minister Nitish Kumar to exit NDA on a secular stand after Modi's elevation in BJP," Shiv Sena president Uddhav Thackeray told reporters after inaugurating the renovated office of the party 'Shivalaya' in south Mumbai.
"Is it a crime to say that you are a Hindu? Since when it has become wrong in this country to say that you are Hindu?" Uddhav asked.
Modi had termed himself as a "Hindu nationalist" in his interview to international news agency Reuters.
Taking potshots at the Congress over the food security programme, Uddhav said, "What has prompted the Congress to implement this scheme now? Last year, when foodgrains were rotting in godowns, the Supreme Court had directed the government to distribute them among the poor. However, the government paid no heed to the court's directive."
He said Congress resorted to the ordinance route instead of passing the food bill in Parliament through debate because the party was aware that it would not be elected to power again.
"Congress is sinking. They know that they are not coming to power again. That is the reason they are pushing so hard for the food security bill," Uddhav said.
He announced that Shiv Sena will provide legal aid to the police personnel sentenced to life imprisonment in connection with the fake encounter of alleged Chhota Rajan aide, Ram Narayan Gupta alias Lakhan Bhaiya.
A sessions court had on Friday awarded life term to 13 policemen and eight others for the 2006 encounter killing.
"We will also support their family members," Uddhav said.