Mumbai, July 26: The Shiv Se “rotted” during the 25 years of its alliance in Maharashtra with the BJP, which ended in 2014 ahead of the assembly elections, party chief Uddhav Thackeray said on Tuesday. “For 25 years or at least two generations, we held each other’s hands and moved on. We could have come to power on our own strength long ago but we rotted in this alliance with the BJP,” rued Thackeray.
He said the alliance may have been a political necessity then, “but if the Shiv Se had gone independently, the picture would have been totally different now”. In the concluding part of a marathon three-part interview published in the party mouthpieces Saama (Marathi) and Dopahar ka Saama (Hindi) on Tuesday, ahead of his 56th birthday on Wednesday, Thackeray spoke to Executive Editor and MP Sanjay Raut. He said there was a time when all top leaders of the state and the masses were solidly behind then Se chief Bal Thackeray but unfortutely “we had to rot in the alliance for 25 years”. That is because it was an alliance of ideologies without any selfish motives on the part of the late Bal Thackeray and out of genuine tiolist concerns without looking for short-terms gains, he said.
“Bal Thackeray never hankered for power. He was only concerned about preventing a split in Hindu votes. But later, the BJP broke the alliance.” He said after the Bharatiya Jata Party (BJP) spped its 25 years of ties ahead of the 2014 assembly elections, the Se fought those polls independently but had got only two weeks to prepare. Otherwise, the situation would have been different. He added that the continued survival of the alliance depended on both parties. But if the BJP keeps talking ‘apne dum par’ (on our own), the Se will not lag behind and install its chief minister in the next elections in Maharashtra. Thackeray, however, said he had a “good rapport” with BJP Chief Minister Devendra Fadvis. “He’s sincere, hard working and doing his best. However, the day we feel Shiv Se is being treated unfairly, we shall quit the government.”
But the Se won’t resort to blackmail and destabilize the state government. Responding to a query on some BJP leaders’ demand to “bottle the Se demon”, Thackeray said the BJP had clarified the remarks was not targeted at the Shiv Se. “They should actually bottle the demons of inflation, terror and corruption. Do you have the guts to do it? Otherwise, don’t cross our path.”
Discussing the upcoming BrihanMumbai Municipal Corporation elections, the Se chief said the two parties had initiated negotiations for putting up a united fight. In case the BJP wanted to break the alliance, this time the Se was fully prepared to fight and win the civic body polls independently, unlike the 2014 assembly elections. (IANS)