Sat. Jul 13th, 2024

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In his interview to Saamana executive editor Sanjay Raut, Shiv Sena (UBT) group leader Uddhav Thackeray put forth some conditions for the Prime Minister Narendra Modi-led Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) government for implementation of the Uniform Civil Code (UCC) in the country.

“If you are going to bring in the Uniform Civil Code, then you should first bring peace in Manipur. It has been burning for months now. Also, the action against the corrupt should be equal, irrespective of which party they belong to. Those who are corrupt but are with you are treated differently. This is not uniform. If you want a UCC, there should be uniformity in treatment too,” said Thackeray, while speaking for the podcast ‘Awaj konacha’.

ON J&K

Challenging the BJP government to hold elections in Jammu and Kashmir, he said there was always support for the abrogation of Article 370. “Now, you have abrogated Article 370. You have also divided the entire state into smaller entities. Why don’t you hold the elections there? It has been such a long time,” he said.

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Responding to PM Modi’s criticism of the united opposition, he said the “hypocrisy of the BJP was known to everyone”. “Within the National Democratic Alliance (NDA), there are only three strong parties – the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI), Enforcement Directorate (ED) and Income Tax (I-T) department. They can make or break any government,” he said.

Reiterating that the fight against the BJP was the fight for democracy, he said that if the BJP came to power in 2024, it will mean an end to democracy in the country. “No elections will be held thereafter,” he said.

SPLIT WITHIN THE SENA AND NCP

Attacking Maharashtra deputy chief minister and BJP leader Devendra Fadnavis without naming him, Thackeray said the reason given by the BJP for splitting the Shiv Sena, with CM Eknath Shinde as the rebel leader, was the alleged backstabbing by the Sena. “Then what did the Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) do? Why did you split them? This was going on for a long time,” he said.

While answering a question on the collapse of the Maha Vikas Aghadi (MVA) government of the Shiv Sena, NCP and Congress, he said his government did not come down. “It was eaten up by crabs.”

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He added that he was happy to be surrounded by a handful loyalists, instead of many traitors. “Sometimes we get confused. Those who we consider are ours, turn out to be bad. Even though we keep thinking that they are with us, they are actually the branches that sap everything from the roots. The tree feels that they are not with us.”

He said his party has only emerged stronger due to the recent debacle. “The Shiv Sena was strong, but in the two-and-a-half years, because of what I have been able to do, the people of Maharashtra have come to regard me as a member of their family. This is what I have earned. It is a big earning. In that one relationship, people who were never with the Shiv Sena before, too, have joined us.”

FIGHT FOR SENA NAME

Speaking on the party’s fight for the name and symbol, Thackeray said, “The function of the Election Commission is to issue election dates or symbols. It is not to give or change the party’s name. We have gone to the Supreme Court against the strange decision given by the Election Commission. I am sure that given the manner in which we have fulfilled all requirements while presenting our case in the Supreme Court, we will get the name ‘Shiv Sena’ back.”

ALSO READ | Sena Vs Sena: Uddhav Faction Alleges Shinde Group Using Party Symbol ‘Illegally’, Approaches SC

Calling the NDA an ‘amoeba’, he said, “After many years, I came to know that an amoeba called ‘NDA’ is alive in this country and to answer them, we, patriotic politicians, have formed an alliance called ‘INDIA’. On the same day, our honorable Prime Minister immediately brought to table 36 parties. In fact, they do not need 36 parties. The ED, I-T and CBI are the only three parties in his NDA.”

BJP, SHINDE FACTION REACT

Sheetal Mhatre, Shiv Sena (Eknath Shinde group) said the remaining handful loyalists, too, will soon leave Uddhav Thackeray.

ALSO READ | ​Uddhav’s Maha Tour Pointless Now; Party Chiefs Need to Keep Family Aside: CM Eknath Shinde to News18

BJP’s Ashish Shelar called the interview “useless”. Shambhuraj Desai, Maharashtra minister, said that better thoughts were expected in the interview.​



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