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FE Online | Mumbai | Sept 30, 2017:: Shiv Sena president Uddhav Thackeray on Saturday attacked its ally Bhartiya Janata Party (BJP) and asked it to refrain from ‘teaching patriotism’. “Don’t teach us patriotism. The day when we need to be taught patriotism hasn’t come yet,” Thackeray was quoted as saying by PTI. The Shiv Sena chief made his comments while addressing the annual Dussehra rally of his party at Mumbai’s Shivaji Park. “An atmosphere was created that those who favour demonetisation are patriots and those who oppose it are traitors,” Thackeray said referring to Modi government’s decision to withdraw high-value currency notes from circulation last year. However, the Sena head appealed his partymen to refrain from launching personal attacks on Prime Minister Narendra Modi, as was seen during a recent Sena protest against inflation, PTI reported. Thackeray also pointed to the incongruity of the BJP sharing power with the PDP in Jammu and Kashmir.
“In Kashmir, what ideological bond do you (BJP) share with the PDP? Why hasn’t special status to Jammu & Kashmir been revoked?” he asked. “We allied with the BJP for Hindutva when the word ‘Hindutva’ was a taboo. If they (BJP leaders) think we are of no use to them, we’ll see,” Thackeray said. “Let us know what is your definition of Hindutva,” he asked. He also expressed his opposition to Modi’s bullet train project, he said, “Who wants the bullet train? Improve rail infrastructure first.”
He also slammed Modi government for higher petrol prices. Thackray said: “This government says GST brings uniform taxation. Where is the uniformity? Even Pakistan has cheaper petrol than us.”
InToday Online | Mumbai | Sept 30, 2017:: The Shiv Sena is allied with the Bharatiya Janata Party for only one reason – the unity of Hindu votes – and nothing else, Uddhav Thackeray thundered today at the party’s annual Dusshera rally in Mumbai.
Thackeray, addressing an event that is a matter of pride for the Sena, launched an attack on the BJP in his address, raking up demonetisation and cow vigilantism, among other issues, to target the Narendra Modi governemnt.
Interestingly, Uddhav refrained from attacking the prime minister directly and even asked his partymen not to do launch personal attacks. “We will organise more such agitations [against price rise]… But refrain from criticising prime minister Modi. No need to target one person for overall mess,” Uddhav said.
The Modi government said that the GST would bring uniform taxation, the Sena supremo said, questioning, “Where is the uniformity? Even Pakistan has cheaper petrol than us.” Thackeray was referring to recent criticism of the government over petrol and diesel prices rising despite global crude oil rates falling (fuel prices have fallen in the last few days).
Thackeray also spoke about demonetisation, seemingly criticising the government for creating a ‘you-are-with-us-or-against-us’ atmosphere. “An atmosphere was created that those who favour demonetization are deshbhakt (patriot) and those who oppose it are deshdrohi (traitor),” Thackeray said.
“Then who were the people who lost their lives waiting in queues (in front of banks)?” he asked.
Thackeray went on to attack the BJP for its alliances with Janata Dal (United)’s Nitish Kumar and Peoples Democratic Party’s Mehbooba Mufti in Bihar and Jammu and Kashmir, respectively.
“You (the BJP) are okay with Nitish who abuses you, with Mehbooba Mufti who threatens you… [but why aren’t you okay with] us who say ‘garv se kaho hum Hindu hain’ (say that you are a Hindu with pride)?” Thackeray questioned.
The Sena leader pointed to the contradiction in the BJP sharing power with the PDP in Jammu and Kashmir, while stressing his own party Shiv Sena’s strong belief in ‘Hindutva’ politics.
“In Kashmir, what ideological bond do you (BJP) share with the PDP? Why hasn’t special status to Jammu & Kashmir been revoked yet?” Thackeray asked.
“We allied with the BJP for Hindutva when the word ‘Hindutva’ was taboo. If they (BJP) think we are of no use to them, we’ll see (what should be our course of action),” Thackeray said. “Let us know what is your definition of Hindutva,” he asked.
Uddhav also went on to talk about cow vigilantism and the issue of banning cow slaughter.
“We are not opposing the ban on cow slaughter, but what is that the BJP wants to achieve from it? We believe in the Hindutva defined by late Vinayak Damodar Savarkar, who was quite practical about its exercise in daily life,” Uddhav said.
“The BJP does not have consistency over the issues it is bringing up. It supports beef ban, but BJP chief minister (Manohar) Parrikar (in Goa) and newly inducted Union minister of state from Kerala K J Alphons contradict the party’s line,” the Sena chief said.
In a veiled dig at Modi, he said, “If the history of India is written (now), I think we will see only one person’s face alone. He will be there on ‘Charkha’ as well as on book covers.”
The Shiv Sena chief was speaking at Mumbai’s iconic Shivaji Park grounds. Sena’s annual Dussehra rallies are remember for the late Bal Thackeray’s fiery speeches and before today’s speech, it was speculated that Uddhav might announce a decision to snap ties with the BJP at the Dussehra rally.
Courtesy: Financial Express & India Today (inputs from PTI).