MUMBAI, Feb 10:
Locked in a grim battle with BJP in the civic polls here, Shiv Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray today ruled out any post-poll pact with the estranged ally even as he claimed the saffron party, having “understood its mistake”, is eyeing a reconciliation.
Keeping up its diatribe against BJP, Sena taunted Prime Minister Narendra Modi over his “rain coat” jibe against former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and heaped praises on Congress for “leading the country in the path of development” after independence.
“(BJP President) Amit Shah says it is a friendly match between them (in BMC polls). It only means that they have realised their mistake. They have understood that they have taken wrong steps and it will be difficult for them to fight the anger of Mumbaikars. Thus, they are now trying to get back to us,” Thackeray said in an interview to Sena mouthpiece ‘Saamana’.
Shah had last Sunday said there were no differences with Sena and that he hoped its decision to contest the Maharashtra civic polls independently was not going to cause damage to the alliance.
“But why should I compromise with them now? Why should I hug you once I have seen the evil thoughts in your mind. A compromise will never happen. It is not possible. I am firm now. Had I not been firm, I would not have announced that I am carving a new way for my party in future,” he asserted.
On the question if his party would withdraw support to the BJP-led government in Maharashtra, he said, “I will have to think about it… If they are thinking of dividing the state by unscrupulous means, I will have to seriously think about giving them support,” he said, alluding to the BJP’s advocacy of smaller states.
“They cannot become devotees of Shivaji Maharaj by merely doing ‘jal pujan’ for his memorial (off Mumbai coast),” Uddhav said.
Shiv Sena is going it alone in Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) polls, targeting BJP as its main rival, despite the contest being multi-cornered with Congress and NCP are also in the fray.
Needling the BJP further, an editorial in ‘Saamana’ hailed the development works done by Congress governments at the Centre and targeted Modi, saying he is not ready to admit the “chaos” created by demonetisation.
About Modi’s “raincoat” barb against his predecessor Manmohan Singh, it said being in power with the corrupt is also corruption.
“But for the work done by the Congress governments, Modi would be governing a backward nation in Africa,” the Sena publication asserted.
“Even if one believes Congress governed while indulging in corruption, it transformed the nation, which could not even produce a needle before Independence, to one that is at the forefront of economic and industrial growth. The previous rulers have made India what it is today,” the Sena organ said.
Sena also praised the previous Prime Ministers who headed the Congress Governments at the Centre, including Indira Gandhi and Rajiv Gandhi
Indira Gandhi taught Pakistan a lesson in the 1971 war, never displayed a “hypocritical stand” on anti-nationals, did not trouble the poor by demonetising currency notes and was thus nicknamed ‘Durga’ by Atal Bihari Vajpayee, it said.
“Her strong will was the nation’s shield. She nationalised banks, made better the nation’s economy, gunned down Khalistani terrorists and gave the message that India will not bend before terrorists. She sacrificed her life for the nation,” the editorial in Saamana said
Eulogising Rajiv, it said, “He had the will to govern by clean means. He may have got the taint of Bofors, but he has to be credited with bringing computers to India. The development of technology today is only because he laid a strong foundation.” (PTI)