MUMBAI: I'm fighting for the dreams of common people of this country and not to fulfil the dream of Modi, Shiv Sena President Uddhav Thackeray has said in an interview given to the party mouthpiece Saamana. Saamana has a tradition to publish lengthy interviews of party chiefs ahead of their birthday. Uddhav's birthday happens to be on July 27 hence, the first part of the three-part interview was published on Monday.
While replying to questions asked by party spokesperson, Rajya Sabha MP and the executive editor of Saamana Sanjay Raut, Thackeray lashed out at the so-called 'development agenda' of the BJP as well as the RSS-BJP brand of Hinduva that includes the 'cow vigilantism' in over 6,000 word first part of the interview apart from explaining the logic behind his party's strategy to be in the government and not vote in favour of the government during no-trust motion in the parliament or the constant criticism of the government policies.
"The government has betrayed the people of Konkan in the Nanar refinery case. The Shiv Sena shall continue opposing it. We shall also oppose the Jaitapur nuclear power project and the Bullet train project as well. I'm not fighting for the dreams of Modi. I'm fighting for the dreams of common people. If they are going to be destroyed I shall side by them," Thackeray said while justifying party's stand on various development projects in Maharashtra.
Thackeray also lashed out the RSS-BJP duo over their brand of Hindutva."It is not Hindutva if you are going behind people who are eating beef without ensuring the security of women in the country. One should be ashamed that India has become the most dangerous country for women," Thackeray has said in the interview.
Thackeray also criticized the decision to distribute BhagwatGita in Maharashtra schools."We have high regards for the sacred book of Hindus. But, would it be distributed to the convent schools? What is the use if it is going to be distributed in government schools when the government is not able to provide jobs to fresh graduates," Thackeray said adding that the Shiv Sena's brand of Hindutva is 'Practical Hindutva'.
"My father, the late Shiv Sena founder Balasaheb Thackeray was often asked about his definition of Hindutva and he would reply - Nationalism is our Hindutva. We don't want Hindus who just go to ring bells in temples sporting a 'choti' and a 'janoi' (thread). Balasaheb's idea of Hindutva has to be propagated and implemented vigorously now," Thackeray urged.
Targeting the ruling party over the debate on nationalism, Thackeray said that the BJP has no right to decide who is a nationalist and who is anti-national. He also said that his definition of being 'friend' is to ensure that the person is on the right path."Anyone criticising the government does not become anti-national," he said.
"I criticise the government for wrong steps. I cannot take the appeasement route to woo them (BJP). The previous (UPA) regime was defeated by people and there were big expectations from this NDA government. But this government is also functioning like the previous one," he added.
Justifying his party's stance on No-Trust motion Thackeray said, "Nobody can shoot the gun from our shoulders and the Sena will not fire from someone else's shoulders either. Where were all these parties when we raked up issues concerning 'people's confidence' in the government? And anyway, if we wanted to vote for the government, why should we oppose it since past over four years? I have a gun in my hand, and when the target is in sight, will fire it," he said.
Referring to BJP President Amit Shah being called 'Chanakya', he said, "Chanakya used his 'niti' for the country, not for political gains of a party."However, he maintained that the alliance with BJP will not be affected by their decision to abstain from voting during Friday's no-confidence motion.