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Uddhav Thackeray questions rationale for BJP’s alliance with Shiv Sena faction

Former Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray arrives for a press conference at the Shiv Sena Bhavan in Mumbai on July 1, 2022.

Former Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray arrives for a press conference at the Shiv Sena Bhavan in Mumbai on July 1, 2022. | Photo Credit: PTI

A day after Shiv Sena rebel Eknath Shinde was sworn in as Maharashtra’s Chief Minister, his predecessor and party president Uddhav Thackeray said that this was the exact proposal over which his party and the then BJP president Amit Shah had agreed upon and had it been respected then, the experiment of Maha Vikas Aghadi (MVA) would never have happened. Countering BJP’s claim that it elevated a Sena worker at the top post, Mr Thackeray claimed that Mr Shinde is not Sena’s Chief Minister.

“What has happened yesterday was our exact proposal in 2019 to Amit Shah and the BJP. Why didn’t the BJP accept the proposal then? And why have they done this now? Had the BJP respected our agreement, the experiment of Maha Vikas Aghadi would never have happened,” said Mr Thackeray, addressing a press conference at party headquarter Sena bhavan. He did not take any questions.

Mr Shinde was sworn in as the Chief Minister along with Mr Fadnavis who took the oath as the deputy CM, amid high-drama throughout the day. Mr Thackeray resigned on June 29 night, after Supreme Court refused to stay the call for floor test by governor Bhagat Singh Koshyari.

“You are saying that you made a Sena workers as Chief Minister. But let me tell you this CM is not of Sena. You cannot have Sena’s CM by sidelining the party,” he said. He was referring to BJP’s claim from Thursday where the party has been saying that it ensured that the Sena worker like Eknath Shinde who worked on the Hindutva principles of Sena founder late Bal Thackeray was made the CM.

“The duo that was sworn in yesterday, would have been in power in 2019 itself. That was the agreement between me and Amit Shah. Had they followed, BJP would have had its CM for at least two and half years. Now, BJP will not have its CM for total of five years. I don’t know what that party has achieved by doing this?” he asked.

Objecting to the new government’s first decision to push for the Metro carshed at Aarey forest, a decision which was cancelled by the previous government led by him, Mr Thackeray said that the anger on him shouldn’t be directed at the people of Mumbai. “You backstabbed me, but I request you to not vent out that anger on the people of Mumbai by giving Aarey land to Metro. This is hazardous from the environment and pose threat of encroachment on the rest of forest land,” he said.

Mr Thackeray said that since the state and central governments are now both run by the BJP, the Kanjur Marg land allotted for the project by previous government can now be utilised without court proceedings.

Commenting on party MLAs deserting him to join rebels, Mr Thackeray said that the voting is secret and people vote to an MLA who belongs to a particular party. “Balasaheb (Sena founder) used to say that the people should have the choice to call their representative back and looking at the developments in last few days, it is time to bring this act giving right to people to call them back,” he said.


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Printable version | Jul 2, 2022 8:49:15 am | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/other-states/uddhav-thackeray-questions-rationale-for-bjps-alliance-with-shiv-sena-faction/article65589021.ece