Mumbai: Attacking Eknath Shinde camp and the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) at the Dussehra rally at Mumbai’s Shivaji Park, Uddhav Thackeray Wednesday promised that Maharashtra will see a Shiv Sena chief minister again with the party’s supporters.
Calling the Shinde faction as creepers that need support to grow, Uddhav said whatever happened was for good and that he is happy the “creepers have fallen out of the tree, the real roots of the trees are still with him now”.
“With your support, I promise you one thing. The promise that I gave to Balasaheb, I give it to you all now. I will make sure that you will see a Sena CM once again,” the former Maharashtra CM said.
Stressing how Hindutva does not mean one should dislike other religions, the Shiv Sena leader drew a comparison between his Hindutva ideology and the BJP-RSS’ Hindutva.
In an attempt to reach out to Muslims, he clarified that his Hindutva means love for the country, and that means even if any Muslim does the same, he accepts that person.
To reiterate his point, he pointed out how RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat recently went to a mosque to have a dialogue with Muslims. “I want to ask those who accuse me of quitting Hindutva. I have respect for Mohan Bhagwat but he went to a mosque and had reached out to the Muslims. Has he quit Hindutva? But just because we went with Congress and formed the government, you accuse us of leaving Hindutva. What is the connection? What are you trying to imply? For me any person of any religion who loves his country I accept him,” he asked.
Furthermore, Uddhav blamed the Centre for the murder of a young girl Ankita Bhandari in Uttarakhand, who used to work in a resort owned by a BJP leader. He also highlighted about how the Gujarat government released Bilkis Bano’s convicts and questioned the BJP’s respect for women.
The Dussehra rally at the Sena’s traditional venue was significant for Uddhav who is battling to keep the party intact and to show that although lawmakers have switched sides — the ground cadre is with him.
The rally — a show of strength — was also necessary to create perception before the upcoming Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) elections. BMC where Shiv Sena had been in power for 25 years, this time Uddhav faces toughest battle to win back the civic body after the vertical split.