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Shiv Sena wasted 25 years in alliance with BJP: Uddhav Thackeray

Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray. File photo

Maharashtra Chief Minister and Shiv Sena president Uddhav Thackeray on Sunday, Janury 23, 2022, said he has accepted the challenge thrown by Union Home Minister Amit Shah that Sena should contest elections on its own and targetted BJP over its "politically-convenient" Hindutva.

Also read: Analysis | After Shiv Sena’s alliance with Congress and NCP, an ambivalent attitude to Hindutva and RSS

Addressing Shiv Sainiks virtually on the 96th birth anniversary of the party founder and his father Bal Thackeray, Mr. Thackeray said that he still believes that 25 years the Sena had spent with BJP as an ally were "rotted".

Also read: BJP has put Hindutva in danger: Thackeray

The Sena will try to expand its footprint outside Maharashtra and aim for a national role, he added.

He said the Sena had aligned with BJP for taking forward the agenda of Hindutva through power.

Also read: Schisms emerging within Shiv Sena

"I have accepted the challenge given by Union home minister Amit Shah that Shiv Sena should contest elections on its own," Mr. Thackeray said.

He said when BJP was growing politically, it aligned with several regional parties including Sena. At that time, BJP used to lose poll deposits in several places, he said.

"Shiv Sena had aligned with BJP as it wanted power for Hindutva. Sena never used Hindutva for the sake of power," he said.

The Sena has left BJP and not Hindutva. I believe that BJP's opportunistic Hindutva is only for power, he added.

‘Opportunistic alliance’

Mr. Thackeray alleged that BJP forged an "opportunistic alliance" with PDP in Kashmir. "BJP even tied up with Nitish Kumar (in Bihar) who had spoken about a 'Sangh-mukt' (RSS free) Bharat," he said.

The Sena fell out with BJP after the 2019 Maharashtra polls and tied up with NCP and Congress to form the Maha Vikas Aghadi (MVA) government.

Thackeray said the Sena openly formed a post-poll alliance with Congress and NCP while BJP "engineered splits in other parties and dislodged elected governments to install the party in power".

He also said that the National Democratic Alliance (NDA) led by BJP has shrunken as old constituents like Akali Dal and Shiv Sena have already walked out of the bloc.

"We supported the BJP wholeheartedly to enable them to fulfil their national ambitions. The understanding was they will go national while we will lead in Maharashtra. But we were betrayed and attempts were made to destroy us in our home. So we had to hit back," Mr. Thackeray said justifying his decision to align with Congress and Nationalist Congress Party after the 2019 elections.


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Printable version | Apr 25, 2022 7:27:29 am | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/mumbai/shiv-sena-wasted-25-years-in-alliance-with-bjp-uddhav-thackeray/article38316945.ece