In a scathing attack against Narendra Modi, Shiv Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray today said that the Prime Minister should give ideas to the country instead of issuing threats.
“Prime Minister should give new ideas to the country and not threats. It does not behove a PM to threaten political opponents. If he wants to threaten someone, he should do so against Pakistan and not his political opponents,” Uddhav Thackeray said in an interview with India TV.
Without naming Modi, the Shiv Sena chief also targeted him over his “56-inch chest” remark and said it does not matter how broad one’s chest is if the individual does not have a heart.
Relations between the Bharatiya Janata Party and its long-time ally Shiv Sena have turned bitter in the past few years.
Yesterday, a party spokesperson claimed that the Shiv Sena ministers are only waiting for Uddhav Thackeray's direction to submit
their resignations from the Maharashtra government and people "unhappy" with the BJP rule are ready for mid-term polls.
Both the parties are locked in a bitter campaign for the high-stake BMC elections, scheduled on February 21. Last month, Uddhav announced the end of the 25-year BJP-Shiv Sena alliance in the BMC.
The Maharashtra strongman also took shots at the government for its decision on demonetisation. “I do not have any personal ill will against Modi but if you think a policy is going to ruin the country, you oppose it,” he said.
“How many rich people died during the note ban? Nearly 200 people died and one of them was a BSF jawan,” he added.
He went on to question the government's claim on the gains of demonetisation and said it did not bring back black money and failed to stop fake currency and terrorist attacks.
“When the Army conducted surgical strikes on Pakistan, I supported the government. But look at what has happened after that. Our soldiers are still dying and there is no let down in terror attacks from Pakistan. The PM must answer on these issues,” he said.
Uddhav also ripped into the BJP's famous 'achhe din' slogan of 2014 Lok Sabha elections and said it was only a promise which was yet to be fulfilled.
"I am bored of BJP's double standard of politics. Modi only promised 'achhe din'," he said.
Answering questions on the shaky alliance between Shiv Sena and the BJP, Thackeray said, “It was not an alliance, it was relationship based on common ideology. For 25 years, we have been together but you left them during bad times. You (BJP) do not want Shiv Sena which believes in Hindutva, you want Mufti Mohammad, Mehbooba Mufti. We came together only for Hidutva.”
Talking about the crucial Uttar Pradesh Assembly elections, Thackeray said was full of praises for incumbent Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav and said he should get another term.
“What is wrong in my support for Akhilesh if he has done good work for UP? When I asked who was behind the differences in the family, I was told that the culprit is obvious,” Uddhav said in a veiled attack at the BJP.
The Sena chief further alleged that the BJP had rolled out a red carpet for criminals and goons in local elections. On a question on Sena’s stand on maximum seats in BMC polls and its insistence for the Mayor’s post, Uddhav retorted saying it was the Shiv Sainiks who rushed to the help of people at times of tragedy. “Not one member of the BJP turns up,” he shot back.