Nagpur: Former Maharashtra Chief Minister and BJP leader Devendra Fadnavis took pot shots at Shiv Sena after the party supremo said that it wasted 25 years because of it's alliance with the saffron party.
"I challenge Shiv Sena to just get a post tweeted for Balasaheb Thackeray, from Sonia Gandhi, Rahul Gandhi with whom they are sitting", Fadnavis said. "You only gave speeches during the Ram Mandir movement, we were the ones who faced bullets and sticks", he added.
"I want to remind them that their party (Shiv Sena) was not born at a time when BJP corporator was there in Mumbai. Till the time they were with us, they used to be number 1 or no 2 party but now they are at number 4", he said.
Maharashtra Chief Minister and Shiv Sena president Uddhav Thackeray on Sunday said he has accepted the challenge thrown by Union home minister Amit Shah that Sena should contest elections on its own and targetted BJP over its "politically-convenient" Hindutva.
Shiv Sena leader Sanjay Raut on Monday while taking pot shots at BJP said that his party took BJP from bottom to top in Maharashtra.
"We took BJP from bottom to top in Maharashtra. After Babri, there was a Shiv Sena wave in Northern India, if we had fought polls at that time, there would have been Shiv Sena's PM in country but we left it for them", Raut said. "BJP only uses Hindutva for power", he added.
Addressing Shiv Sainiks virtually on the 96th birth anniversary of the party founder and his father Bal Thackeray, Uddhav said that he still believes that 25 years the Sena had spent with BJP as an ally were "rotted".
The Sena will try to expand its footprint outside Maharashtra and aim for a national role, he added.
He said the Sena had aligned with BJP for taking forward the agenda of Hindutva through power.
"I have accepted the challenge given by Union home minister Amit Shah that Shiv Sena should contest elections on its own," Thackeray said.
He said when BJP was growing politically, it aligned with several regional parties including Sena. At that time, BJP used to lose poll deposits in several places, he said.
"Shiv Sena had aligned with BJP as it wanted power for Hindutva. Sena never used Hindutva for the sake of power," he said.
The Sena has left BJP and not Hindutva. I believe that BJP's opportunistic Hindutva is only for power, he added.
Thackeray alleged that BJP forged an "opportunistic alliance" with PDP in Kashmir. "BJP even tied up with Nitish Kumar (in Bihar) who had spoken about a 'Sangh-mukt' (RSS free) Bharat," he said.
The Sena fell out with BJP after the 2019 Maharashtra polls and tied up with NCP and Congress to form the Maha Vikas Aghadi (MVA) government.
Meanwhile, Bhartiya Janata Party leader Ram Kadam on Monday counter attacked Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray after he said Shiv Sena wasted 25 years with BJP.
Kadam said Thackeray should introspect whether Sena is following late Bal Thackeray's ideology.
"Before lecturing on Hindutva, Uddhav Thackeray should introspect whether Shiv Sena is following late Bal Thackeray's ideology, who had said that in politics & life his party will never join Cong, and if such circumstances arise, he would prefer locking party office," said Kadam