Post assembly poll results, Uddhav escalates attack on ally BJP over Ram temple in Pandharpur
Addressing a well-attended public rally in the temple town of Pandharpur in western Maharashtra, Thackeray said that the outcome in the recently held assembly polls has shown that the BJP has fallen flat and its dream of being “invincible” has been shatteredUpdated: Dec 25, 2018, 17:37 IST
Emboldened by the Bharatiya Janata Party’s (BJP) defeat in the recently held assembly polls in five states, Shiv Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray on Monday cornered alliance partner BJP over a range of issues, including the Ram temple, Rafale deal, and crop insurance and said that he is not “interested” in an alliance at this point of time.
Addressing a well-attended public rally in the temple town of Pandharpur in western Maharashtra, Thackeray said that the outcome in the recently held assembly polls has shown that the BJP has fallen flat and its dream of being “invincible” has been shattered.
On the Ram temple issue, Thackeray dared the BJP to take up the issue for debate in the Parliament saying that his party is the only one to have taken a stand on it. “It has been 30 years and still you say that the matter is in court. Hindus are innocent, but not fools,” said Thackeray.
Last month, Thackeray during his visit to Ayodhya, had demanded that the BJP announce the date when the construction of the Ram temple will begin. Thackeray also asked other regional parties to clarify their stand on the Ram temple and Hindutva. “It is good that the BJP has finalised the seat sharing arrangement with Nitish Kumar’s party and Ram Vilas Paswan. Now, Nitish Kumar and Ram Vilas Paswan should declare their views on the Ram temple and Hindutva,” said Thackeray.
The Sena chief also raised questions about the clean chit given to the Centre by the Supreme Court on the Rafale deal saying that despite several issues over alleged irregularities in the deal, the government has been given clean chit.
“There have been several allegations over the Rafale fighter jet deal, but I do not know how the Supreme Court has given a clean chit,” said Thackeray, who after the rally performed a maha-aarti at the banks of Chandrabhaga river.
On speculations over seat sharing with the BJP, Thackeray said that he is not interested in it at this point. “I am more concerned about the Ram temple, farm loan waiver and crop insurance. As far as the alliance is concerned, the people of Maharashtra will decide what we should do.” Thackeray’s attack comes just days after the BJP, and its chief Amit Shah, made overtures an alliance ahead of the Lok Sabha election early next year. The Sena chief said the people would decide whether they want the Sena to align with the BJP.
While Thackeray on previous occasions has maintained that the Sena would contest the Lok Sabha and assembly elections on its own, the BJP leadership has been consistently stressing on an alliance with the Sena for the upcoming polls.
Thackeray also took a dig at the Modi government over the crop insurance scheme for farmers saying companies with no experience were asked to insure crops as a result of which farmers have not benefitted.
“The irregularities in the crop insurance scheme is equally serious as the Rafale deal,” said the Sena chief, while announcing that from January 2019, he will be touring the drought-affected areas of Maharashtra.