Mumbai, Feb 8: A day after Union Home Minister Amit Shah’s verbal assault on Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray, the Shiv Sena on Monday hit back, charging the Bharatiya Janata Party of using its ex-ally as “a ladder” to ascend in state politics.
At a function in Sindhudurg on Sunday, Shah had virtually labelled Thackeray a liar, saying the BJP had never assured the Maharashtra CM’s post by rotation to the Sena after the October 2019 Assembly elections.
Countering this, the Sena’s Mumbai South MP Arvind Sawant on Monday referred to a meeting of BJP-Sena leaders held at Matoshri in February 2019 followed by a press conference.
At that time, then BJP Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis – now Leader of Opposition – had announced the seat-shring arrangement for the Lok Sabha and Assembly elections with “equal power-sharing formula”.
“Then, why did it take him (Shah) over a year to speak up on this,” Sawant asked pointedly to the then BJP President Shah who now referred to the 3-party alliance as “an autorickshaw government”.
Shah had even accused Thackeray of junking the late Balasaheb Thackeray’s principles and ideologies in his greed for power by entering into an alliance with Nationalist Congress Party-Congress and becoming the CM.
To this, the Sena’s chief spokesperson Sanjay Raut added in mock sympathy that “the wounds run deep in the BJP” which is still in a shock how – though it ruled over so many states – it failed to capture power in Maharashtra.
Shah added sarcastically that if the BJP had treaded on the Sena’s path, its (Sena’s) existence would have been ‘erased’ permanently in the state.
Raut replied to this in a tweet: “In 1975 Rajni Patel and in the 1990s similarly Murli Deora said that Shiv Sena will be wiped off… Again in 2012 Prithviraj Chavan said the same thing and on all the occasions the Shiv Sena came up even stronger than earlier!”
Sawant added that all those people “who had cursed the Shiv Sena have come and gone… But five generations of Thackeray family has worked for the people of Maharashtra.”
He said all the people know that the BJP had only used Shiv Sena as a “ladder” to grow in the state politics with the late Balasaheb Thackeray’s blessings.