Shiv Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray Monday indicated his unwillingness to enter into an alliance with the BJP for the upcoming polls, asking why he should join hands with "someone" facing "corruption" charges.
He demanded a discussion on the issue of Ram temple in Parliament and said it has been 30 years since the Babri Masjid was razed, but the Ayodhya matter is still in court.
Lok Sabha elections 2019 | NDA will not be able to open its account in general polls in Bihar: Tejashwi Yadav
Thackeray also attacked his senior ally over the Rafale fighter jet deal, saying a private company which had no experience in making aircraft was given a defence contract.
Addressing a rally in this temple town in Solapur district, Thackeray said, "Why should I join hands in the name of Hindutva with someone (a reference to BJP) facing so many allegations of corruption, be it Rafale jet fighter deal or crop insurance scheme."
Catch all the latest news about Lok Sabha elections 2019 HERE
Upping the ante on the Ayodha issue, he said a discussion on Ram temple in Parliament will reveal the stand of NDA partners and also opposition parties.
The Shiv Sena is currently a constituent of the BJP-led governments at the Centre and also in Maharashtra.
Thackeray had in January this year said his party will fight all future polls alone, though the BJP has been repeatedly calling for an alliance with the Maharashtra-based regional party.
Besides general elections in 2019, Maharashtra will face assembly polls in the second half of the next year.
"Not all of us are gathered here today in the name of Hindutva. Many are farmers, some of them are farmers' children and we are here to seek justice for farmers," he said.
The Sena leader alleged irregularities in a central government-sponsored crop insurance scheme for farmers.
"Despite the government having four state-run companies, 12 private companies were also roped in (implementing the scheme). Those companies have milked the system and gained
thousands of crores in profits," he alleged.
"What happened with the Rafale deal, is happening in the crop insurance scheme also. In both the cases, companies having no experience were given the task to implement the programmes," Thackeray claimed.
The Sena chief said going by this criteria women self-help groups should be asked to make bullets.
"If you can give fighter jet making contract to some Ambani, then you should award the bullet making contract to women self-help groups," he said sarcastically.
"Even if we assume the Rafale deal is corruption-free, why are farmers not getting insurance repayment?" he asked.
The Anil Ambani-led Reliance Defence is an Indian offset partner of Dassault, the French company that is suppling 36 Rafale jets to India under a Rs 58,000-crore deal.
Reliance Defence has strongly denied allegations of getting undue benefits from the multi-billion dollar Rafale deal.