Uddhav calls upon Shiv Sena members to be ready for solo fight in Maharashtra civic polls

Uddhav Thackeray
Shiv Sena President Uddhav Thackeray on Sunday gave a call to party members to be ready to go solo in the ensuing election to nine municipal corporations in Maharashtra slated for next year. At the meeting of office bearers to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the foundation of the party here, Thackeray said he did not know the fate of the alliance with the Bharatiya Janata Party but clarified that his party did not desire to break the alliance. However, he warned that alliance won't be at the cost of self-respect.

Thackeray referred to Union Minister and BJP leader Venkaiah Naidu's statement that the Shiv Sena is the oldest alliance partner of the BJP and existed from the days of late Sena supremo Bal Thackeray. Thus, party leaders and workers should maintain restrain instead of criticising each other. However, the Sena president said the situation was different on the ground.

This statement comes at a time when despite sharing power at the Centre and in Maharashtra, the two parties are engaged in war of words and are leveling corruption charges against each other in the run up to the election to the BrihanMumbai Municipal Corporation scheduled to take place in February. While Shiv Sena had alleged the BJP government was worse than the Nizam’s government, BJP and the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh asked why Sena's ministers are still party to it. Thackeray launched a scathing attack against Prime Minister Narendra Modi for burgeoning prices of essential commodities, farmers’ suicides, cross-border attacks from Pakistan and China. He took a swipe at Modi saying that there was a status quo on practically every front despite the Modi's repeated claims that the country was witnessing remarkable change.

He called upon the Centre to take immediate steps to provide relief to the common man if not ache din by curbing prices. He said the Shiv Sena was prepared to help the government tide over the current crisis. Thackeray also cornered the BJP for a lack of progress in fulfilling its commitments on issues such as the construction of a Ram temple in Ayodhya and bringing in a uniform civil code despite having majority in the Lok Sabha.

Thackeray, in response to critics, said his party may be regional but was original. He said his father did not form the Shiv Sena by dividing other parties, and it was set up based on a certain thought. He also accepted his son and party's youth wing chief Aditya Thackeray's suggestion that the Sena practice 100 per cent politics and consolidate its position across the country.

On the party's decision to join the BJP-led government in Maharashtra, Thackeray said it was a conscious decision keeping in mind the larger interest of the state, adding that the party did not even bother about the allocation of departments in the government.   Interestingly, Thackeray showered praise on state Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis and clarified that he never criticised the latter.

He instead, extended the party's support to the chief minister in addressing various issues including drought and price rise.

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