Comments by Shiv Sena chief and Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray on the party's past alliance with the BJP have triggered a furious response from the saffron party.
On the occasion of the birth anniversary of Bal Thackeray, the founder of the Shiv Sena, on Sunday, Uddhav had said “I believe that BJP's opportunistic Hindutva is only for power. The Shiv Sena had aligned with the BJP as it wanted power for Hindutva. The Sena never used Hindutva for the sake of power.” He also said the Sena had wasted 25 years in alliance with the BJP.
On Monday, former Maharashtra chief minister and BJP leader Devendra Fadnavis questioned the Shiv Sena on its Hindutva credentials.
Fadnavis told a press conference that the BJP had braved bullets during the Ram Janmabhumi movement. “You [Shiv Sena] only gave speeches during the Ram Mandir movement, we were the ones who faced bullets and sticks,” Fadnavis was quoted as saying by ANI.
Fadnavis also took a jibe at the Sena's tie-up with the Congress in the three-party coalition government in Maharashtra. He said, “I challenge them (Shiv Sena) to just get a post tweeted for Balasaheb Thackeray, from Sonia Gandhi, Rahul Gandhi with whom they are sitting.”
The NCP, an ally of the Shiv Sena, on Monday supported Uddhav over his comments.
NCP chief spokesperson Nawab Malik said, “Everyone should be proud of their religion, but it is harmful if there is hatred against others. The Shiv Sena is trying to say the same thing that one must be proud of their religion and propagate it, but it is wrong to spread hatred against others. We think Uddhav Thackeray ji has said the same thing.”