Maharashtra CM Uddhav Thackeray 96th Birth Anniversary Bal Thackrey Bjp Shiv Sena

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New Delhi: Shiv Sena plans to expand its reach beyond Maharashtra and aim for a national role, Chief Minister and Shiv Sena president Uddhav Thackeray reportedly said on Sunday even as he accused the BJP of using Hindutva for its political convenience.

According to PTI, he also said that the National Democratic Alliance (NDA) which is led by the BJP shrank as old constituents like Akali Dal and Shiv Sena have already walked out of the bloc.

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Uddhav Thackeray was making a virtual address to Shiv Sena members on the occasion of his father’s 96th birth anniversary who was the party’s founder Bal Thackrey. He said the Sena had aligned with BJP for taking forward the agenda of Hindutva through power.

“Shiv Sena had aligned with BJP as it wanted power for Hindutva. Sena never used Hindutva for the sake of power,” he said reported PTI.

The Sena has left the BJP and not Hindutva. I believe that BJP’s opportunistic Hindutva is only for power, he said. Thackeray also said that the 25 years the Sena spent with BJP as an ally were wasted.

In 2019, the Sena fell out with BJP after the Maharashtra polls and tied up with NCP and Congress to form the Maha Vikas Aghadi (MVA) government.

“We supported the BJP wholeheartedly to enable them to fulfill their national ambitions. The understanding was they will go national while we will lead in Maharashtra. But we were betrayed and attempts were made to destroy us in our home. So we had to hit back ,” Thackeray said, justifying his decision to align with Congress and Nationalist Congress Party after the 2019 elections.

He further alleged that the BJP uses and dumps parties its allies as per its political convenience. Responding to BJP’s jibes that Sena had abandoned Hindutva for power, he said his party had left BJP and not the ideology of Hindutva.

“BJP doesn’t mean Hindutva. I stand by my comment that Shiv Sena had wasted 25 years in alliance with BJP,” he said.

In the recent Nagar Panchayat elections, the Sena fare poorly, and secured the fourth position, the Maharashtra Chief Minister said leaders of Sena, including himself, didn’t take local body polls seriously and campaign accordingly.

“On the contrary, our new allies Congress and NCP have built institutions at the grassroots. We too have to work in that direction. In the last two years, we lost two Legislative Council seats held by us in the biennial elections. I think we lost due to the neglect and not due to sabotage in our ranks,” he said.

He said that the Sena should aim at consolidating its presence at the national level and resolve to capture power in Delhi. Thackeray said the Sena should also expand beyond Maharashtra and aim to “capture” Delhi. He asked Sena workers and leaders to focus on building institutions in the cooperative and banking sector in rural areas.

“There is no point talking about contesting elections independently if our hands are not strong,” he said.

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