I’d hate to appear on BJP posters with Modi: Uddhav Thackeray

Sometimes I feel now there is an easy way for Dawood to come to India, that would be to join BJP,” he added sarcastically.

Published: 10th February 2017 01:00 PM  |   Last Updated: 11th February 2017 05:45 AM   |  A+A-

Shiv Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray (File Photo | PTI)

Express News Service

MUMBAI: Shiv Sena President Uddhav Thackeray is confident that his party would be in the majority in the BrihanMumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) yet again despite severing ties with its ally Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP). However, more than winning the local body elections in Mumbai and Maharashtra, distancing itself from the BJP has a greater degree of importance for the Shiv Sena, he said.
 
“I’m happy not to be there with the ‘transformed’ BJP, the BJP that has started sporting goons on their posters instead of stalwarts like Atal Bihari Vajpayee and LK Advani,” Thackeray told The New Indian Express.
 
“The BJP had been inducting goons and the most corrupt politicians on one hand and alleging us with charges of corruption under the pretext of ‘transparency’. This is unacceptable. I’m happy today that I’m not there with the BJP. Otherwise my photo would have been published along with Shah, Modi and (Pappu) Kalani,” Thackeray said pointing at a photograph of a campaign poster in neighbouring Ulhasnagar Municipal Corporation where the BJP has tied up with political outfit floated by former National Congress Party (NCP) leader Pappu Kalani, who is serving life sentence in a murder case.
 
Does this mean that he is otherwise happy with the way the BJP government is working and unhappy with the way the party is trying to spread? Uddhav Thackeray’s answer is a firm “No”.
 
“What are the achievements of the governments (at centre and in the state) in the past two and a half years? Did they promise demonetisation in their manifesto? If not, why did they take such a big decision in a haphazard way?” Thackeray asked, adding “In fact, that was the trigger point that drifted us away from them.”
 
“We don’t doubt the motives of the government. But, the act unnecessarily troubled the innocents, which is just like previous governments. Then where is the difference,” Uddhav Thackeray added.
 
“The BJP was really a party with a difference in the days when we joined hands with them. But, they have ‘transformed’. Have they fulfilled their promises to abolish article 370, to build the Ram Temple at Ayodhya, of bringing Dawood Ibrahim back to India? How can we be comfortable with a party that is going back on their words,” Thackeray asked.
 
“Sometimes I feel now there is an easy way for Dawood to come to India, that would be to join BJP,” he added sarcastically.
 
Speaking on whether the Shiv Sena will withdraw support of the BJP government in Maharashtra owing to the recent divide, Uddhav Thackeray says “We are in the government for the people. We are there to keep them under control. We are there like what a goad is to an elephant.”
 
We have to play this balancing act of being in power and acting like an opposition to keep tab on the BJP. We shall keep criticizing their policies and decisions which we feel are going wrong, Thackeray added.
 
Shiv Sena is also contesting elections in Goa and Uttar Pradesh. While speaking about the party of spreading into other states, Thackeray said “We have been receiving invitations from all across the country ever since the ‘90s. However, post ’92 (Babri Masjid) we took a conscious decision to concentrate only on Maharashtra and let BJP look after the other states. But, now I’ve started honouring all invitations. My idea is that there needs to be a grand alliance of regional parties that would honour regional sentiments.”
 
“Look at Goa. The local regional party Maharashtrawadi Gomantak Party (MGP) is contesting maximum seats there. Their leader has been projected as our Chief Ministerial candidate,” Thackeray added.
 
Elaborating on what he thinks of Shiv Sena’s future role in this context, Uddhav Thackeray said, “I’ve just started mooting this idea of an alliance of regional parties. That does not mean tomorrow I will be a Prime Minister (PM) of front of regional parties. But, this is the need of the hour. The regional sentiments need to be honoured and 

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