MUMBAI: In a scathing attack on the BJP, Shiv Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray today said there are no ideals left in the party and claimed that anyone with money power can join it.
However, soon after making the allegations, the Shiv Sena chief distanced his party members from being termed as "money bags" and said they are "honest" workers who don't get lured by money.
He also alleged that the saffron flag party is not "saffron anymore".
Thackeray said this while addressing a poll rally at Mokhada town for his party's candidate Shrinivas Wanaga for the upcoming Palghar Lok Sabha bypoll on May 28.
Shriniwas Wanaga is the son of late BJP MP Chintaman Wanaga, whose death earlier this year necessitated the bypoll to the Lok Sabha seat in the neighbouring Palghar district.
"The saffron flag under which you had been working with Chintaman Wanaga is not saffron anymore. There are no ideals left in that party. You get entry into the party if you show a (money) bag. The honest people I have with me are my money bags. We do not get lured by money," Thackeray said.
The BJP has been upset with the Sena for giving a ticket to the late leader's son.
Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis had recently said the BJP was planning to field someone from the Wanaga family in the by-election.
Thackeray, whose party is an ally of the BJP at the Centre and in Maharashtra, said it was "unfortunate" that the Palghar seat fell vacant due to Chintaman Wanaga's death.
"Had the BJP given a ticket to his son Shrinivas, I would have myself come to campaign for him," he said.
Taking a dig at the chief minister, Thackeray said he must have thought the poor man from an "adivasi" (tribal) family would not be able to do much and toe the BJP's line ultimately.
"The CM must have thought (Shrinivas) Wanaga does not have money, neither will he have any support. Who will ask him? But he did not realise that we are not the ones to count wealth with money. We count wealth with the size of one's heart," he said.
"When the Wanaga family came to us, they told me the BJP mistreated them and that he (Shrinivas) did not wish to join any other party because his father stood with saffron," he said.
Thackeray said Chintaman Wanaga had opposed the Mumbai -Ahmedabad bullet train, the Delhi-Mumbai Industrial Corridor, the Wadhwan port project and the acquisition of tribal land for government projects.
"The BJP is using the photos of late Chintaman Wanaga on one hand, while on the other, is bent on defeating his son. Feels bad looking at all this.Shrinivas's win will be the victory of loyalty," he added.