BJP is taking country towards dictatorship, says Uddhav Thackeray

BJP’s ploy to finish off regional parties by crushing regional pride is “extremely alarming”.

Updated - August 03, 2022 01:27 pm IST

Published - August 02, 2022 12:34 am IST - Pune:

Shiv Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray addresses the media during a press conference  in Mumbai on August 1, 2022.

Shiv Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray addresses the media during a press conference in Mumbai on August 1, 2022. | Photo Credit: PTI

Shiv Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray on Monday lashed out at BJP national president J.P. Nadda for his statement that all regional parties, including the Shiv Sena in Maharashtra, would be “decimated” and only the BJP would remain in future.

Speaking to reporters in Mumbai following the arrest of his confidant and MP Sanjay Raut, Mr. Thackeray said the country, under the BJP, was lurching towards “a Hitlerian dictatorship”. He said the BJP’s ploy to finish off regional parties by crushing regional pride was “extremely alarming”.

“Is there any democracy in Mr. Nadda’s speech that only their party [the BJP] will remain while all other parties in the country will perish. When you unleash agencies like the Enforcement Directorate (ED), the Income Tax Department and the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) against dissenters in Opposition parties, then where is the democracy?” he said.

At a political event in Bihar, Mr. Nadda had said that in the times to come, “only an ideology-driven party like the BJP will survive while others ruled by families will perish”.

Criticising Flaying dynastic politics in the south as well as in Bihar and Uttar Pradesh, Mr. Nadda said that the Shiv Sena was on the path to extinction in Maharashtra.

“This is a statement which is pushing the country towards a one-party dictatorship… Just you [the BJP] try to finish the Sena in Maharashtra. They [the BJP] want to pit Maharashtrians against non-Maharashtrians,” Mr. Thackeray said.

He further said that Mr. Nadda’s remarks smacked of a ploy to sow division among Hindus by erecting linguistic barriers.

The Sena president, who helmed the three-party Maha Vikas Aghadi (MVA) government of the Shiv Sena, the NCP and the Congress in Maharashtra, found himself toppled as Chief Minister following a revolt by Eknath Shinde and 39 Sena MLA, abetted and aided by the BJP.

“Politics is often compared to a game of chess. But today’s politics seems to be driven by sheer brute force…The BJP always talks against dynastic politics. But when people from these very ‘dynastic’ parties coming into the BJP, and they happily accept them, the question arises of the BJP’s pandering to these dynasts,” remarked Mr. Thackeray.

Urging the BJP to stop behaving with malice, he warned that that the wheel of fortune turned ever so often in politics.

“Times change…while we do not know whether acche din [PM Modi’s slogan] will ever arrive, bure din [bad days] will certainly come for such people [BJP]… I don’t know what will be the BJP’s fate then,” said the Sena chief, stating that there ought to be a magnanimity in politics.

Meanwhile, Deputy CM and BJP leader Devendra Fadnavis clarified that Mr. Nadda was referring to the Uddhav Thackeray-led Sena faction in his speech and not Eknath Shinde’s rebel faction, with whom the BJP is currently allied.

“The faction under Uddhav Thackeray does not represent the real Shiv Sena any more…Mr. Nadda was alluding to this and not CM Shinde’s faction,” Mr. Fadnavis said.

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