Shiv Sena president Uddhav Thackeray launched a scathing attack on the BJP today, asking the ally to refrain from "teaching us patriotism" and hitting out at it over a range of issues from note-ban to cow vigilantism.
"Don't teach us patriotism. The day when we need to be taught patriotism hasn't come yet," Thackeray said, addressing the annual Dussehra rally of his party at Shivaji Park in central Mumbai tonight.
He also asked his party workers, who had targeted Prime Minister Narendra Modi during recent demonstrations against price rise, not to make personal attacks. "We will organise more such agitations...But refrain from criticising prime minister Modi. No need to target one person for overall mess."
Referring to the central government's decision to withdraw high-value currency notes from circulation last year, he said, "An atmosphere was created that those who favour demonetisation are patriots and those who oppose it are traitors."
"Then who were the people who lost their lives waiting in queues (in front of banks)?" he asked.
The Sena leader pointed to the contradiction in the BJP sharing power with the PDP in Jammu and Kashmir, while stressing his own party's strong belief in 'Hindutva' politics.
"In Kashmir, what ideological bond do you (BJP) share with the PDP? Why hasn't special status to Jammu & Kashmir been revoked yet?" Thackeray asked.
"We allied with the BJP for Hindutva when the word 'Hindutva' was taboo. If they (BJP) think we are of no use to them, we'll see (what should be our course of action)," Thackeray said. "Let us know what is your definition of Hindutva."
"We are not opposing the ban on cow slaughter, but what is that the BJP wants to achieve from it? We believe in the Hindutva defined by late Vinayak Damodar Savarkar, who was quite practical about its exercise in daily life," he said.
"The BJP does not have consistency over the issues it is bringing up. It supports beef ban, but BJP chief minister (Manohar) Parrikar (in Goa) and newly inducted Union minister of state from Kerala KJ Alphons contradict the party's line."
Expressing staunch opposition to Modi's pet project, Uddhav said, "Who wants the bullet train? Improve rail infrastructure first."
"This government says GST brings uniform taxation. Where is the uniformity? Even Pakistan has cheaper petrol than us," Thackeray added.
In a veiled dig at Modi, he said, "If the history of India is written (now), I think we will see only one person's face alone. He will be there on 'Charkha' as well as on book covers."
He also referred to RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat's comment today morning that national interest must be given primacy while deciding on giving shelter to Rohingya refugees.
"No need for bogus humanitarianism. We should not bear their burden...they should be sent back to their country," Thackeray said.