The Shiv Sena turned 55 with a bang. Party president and Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray, during a virtual address to party workers on Saturday, slammed the ruling ally Congress (without naming it) for its repeated call to go solo in the upcoming elections in Maharashtra.
He said the decision should not be restricted to only elections. Thackeray, who heads the Maha Vikas Aghadi government declared that the party will stick to its motto of walking with pride. “Shiv Sena will not remain muted, nor carry one’s weight to remain in power,” he said.
The CM also lashed out at the BJP for playing politics during the coronavirus pandemic and repeatedly issuing new dates for the collapse of the MVA government in the state. Without naming the BJP, he claimed that its estranged ally was unable to still digest the loss of power and therefore has been making efforts to come back to power in the state.
“Playing politics during the pandemic shows a perverse attitude,” he alleged. “Some people are giving the slogan of going solo. Even I say that we can go solo, too. Everyone has the right to do so. Fighting alone should not be restricted to elections alone,” the CM said. He added, “People will beat us. What’s the use of this self-strength if people are being forced to beg on the road? What are we going to use this power for? We must fight this calamity by giving up the election-to-election mindset.” “We have a federal structure. Whenever regional pride is under threat, the federal structure comes under pressure.”
Uddhav said, “West Bengal is an example of what ‘going solo’ is. Post-election, Bengal saw all types of attacks, but everyone stood for Bengali pride. Bengal has shown an example of how to safeguard regional pride.”
Thackeray warned that the country is heading for “social unease”, saying that political parties should decide if they want power for power’s sake or for solving economic issues. He said economy and health were the two key issues before the country.
“The time has come for all political parties to decide whether they want political success for the sake of it or for finding solutions on the economic front. Social unrest would be a harsh word to describe it, but the country is heading for ‘social unease’ for sure,” he said.
He said if we indulge in cynical politics without giving a thought to the ways to find solutions to economic and health challenges before us, then we are in serious trouble. Thackeray said even though the Shiv Sena is leading the MVA government it has not left Hindutva. However, he clarified that for the Sena, Hindutva is both pride for the region and the nation.
He took a tig at the BJP, saying that “Hindutva is not someone’s patent, Hindutva is in our heart.” Showering praise on his party workers who got into a scuffle with BJP activists a few days ago at Dadar, the CM said, “Balasaheb said if someone hits you, you should immediately hit back. This statement has been going viral for the last couple of days. We know why it is going viral but that is what a Shivsainik is.” Thackeray however, refrained from making comments on the allegations of corruption in the construction of the Ram temple in Ayodhya.