Uddhav Thackeray slams govt; calls its idea of Hindutva fake

The Shiv Sena chief’s criticism comes after BJP president Amit Shah asked his party to be prepared to contest the Lok Sabha and state polls in Maharashtra alone.

india Updated: Jul 23, 2018 22:57 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times, Mumbai
Shiv Sena,PM Modi,Narendra Modi
Shiv Sena president Uddhav Thackeray addresses a meeting in Mumbai.(PTI File Photo)

Shiv Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray on Monday attacked the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP)-led central government over recent mob lynchings, saying cows were safer than women in the country.

In an interview published in Shiv Sena’s mouthpiece, Saamana, on Monday, he also called the BJP’s idea of Hindutva fake and said the government has failed to check cow vigilantism.

“In the name of saving the cow, if you are shifting focus to whether someone is eating beef or not, then it is a sham. This is not Hindutva,” he said in an interview published in.

“I do not accept the idea of Hindutva that is being adhered to in the country. Our women are unsafe and you are protecting cows.” Thackeray refused to call BJP a friend and said he is a friend of “the Bharatiya janata (Indian people), not of any party’’.

Thackeray’s criticism comes after BJP president Amit Shah asked his party to be prepared to contest the Lok Sabha and state polls in Maharashtra alone. The Sena is BJP’s alliance partner in the Maharashtra government.

Shah’s statement came after an apparent flip-flop on a whip to Sena members that asked them to be present in the Lok Sabha during the Opposition-sponsored no-trust motion and vote for the government. The party later called the whip a mistake.

On his party’s stance in Parliament, Thackeray said, “Where were all these parties when we raked up issues concerning peoples’ confidence in the government? And anyway, if we wanted to vote for the government, why did we oppose it for past over four years? I have a gun in my hand, and when the target is in sight, will fire it,” he said.

Shah had met Thackeray last month in an attempt to mend fences with Sena. The meeting was also aimed at mollifying the Sena ahead of the general elections and Maharashtra assembly polls in 2019. Thackeray justified Sena’s support to Maharashtra’s BJP government. “If their (BJP’s) Chanakyaneeti is acceptable, why not my style of politics?”

He targeted the BJP over the nationalism debate. Thackeray said the BJP had no right to decide who is nationalist or anti-national.

“Anyone criticising the government does not become anti-national. Members of Parliament are representatives of people and have the right to raise questions,” he said. TheBJP has refused to comment on Thackeray’s remarks. “We don’t react to articles published in newspapers... Every party has the right to say what they want,” said Keshav Upadhye, the BJP’s state spokesperson.

First Published: Jul 23, 2018 11:25 IST