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Lok Sabha Elections 2019: Shiv Sena doesn’t imagine a ‘Congress-mukt Bharat’, says Uddhav Thackeray

In his first major interview after the Shiv Sena and BJP announced an alliance, Uddhav Thackeray told party mouthpiece Saamana, “I never said anything about a Congress-mukt country.”

lok sabha elections Updated: Apr 03, 2019 08:07 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times, Mumbai
lok sabha elections 2019,sena-bjp alliance,shiv sena
Shiv Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray, in an interview to Saamana, said the condition of the Congress today is bad. (Kunal Patil/HT File Photo )

Shiv Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray on Tuesday said he did not have “petty imaginations” of a “Congress-mukt Bharat (Congress-free India)”. His remarks contradict the slogan Prime Minister Narendra Modi and the Bharatiya Janata Party had used while campaigning for the 2014 Lok Sabha elections.

In his first major interview after the Sena and BJP announced an alliance, Thackeray told party mouthpiece Saamana, “I never said anything about a Congress-mukt country.”

Asked if the country’s problems would be solved if the Congress was routed, Thackeray said, “I never said finish the Congress because the opposition is needed… I do not have such petty imaginations. That said, the condition of the Congress today is bad. It does not have tall leaders like PV Narasimha Rao.”

Targeting Congress president Rahul Gandhi, Thackeray said the Opposition party lacked the leadership that could take on the ruling National Democratic Alliance, of which it is part.

“The Congress doesn’t have the leadership. What exactly is Rahul Gandhi doing is the question… sometimes he says something good, at times he makes a mess,” Thackeray said in an interaction with Saamana executive editor Sanjay Raut.

His party’s alliance with the BJP, announced in February rested on “won’t betray, don’t betray” motto. The alliance, he said, was the answer to the woes of the people of Maharashtra. Referring to his “Sena rotted in the 25 years of alliance with the BJP” statement, Thackeray said, “After the alliance, we became lax. Shiv Sena chief (Bal Thackeray) had toured the entire state. But after the alliance, we became lax. Now, this won’t happen.”

He, however, did not elaborate on the power sharing dynamic between the parties for the Assembly elections. “I think what the chief minister said during the alliance announcement is enough on the matter, that the responsibility and power will be equally shared. You can make sense of that statement,” he said.

While announcing the alliance on February 18, chief minister Devendra Fadnavis had said both parties would have equal share in power and responsibility. “Balasaheb Thackeray’s teachings have been that defeat is better than false promises,” he said.

First Published: Apr 03, 2019 07:28 IST

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