Shiv Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray on Monday said India had failed to get international support on its issues with Pakistan and China despite Prime Minister Narendra Modi making friends with world leaders.
Thackeray, whose party is a constituent of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP)-led National Democratic Alliance (NDA) government at the Centre and in Maharashtra, also said it would be an injustice to the nation if the senior ally remained embroiled in elections and internal politics.
“What has happened which caused a severe unrest in Kashmir and has made the dragon (China) our enemy? Are we lacking somewhere? The PM roams around the world and has made many friends. Then, why is it that nobody is openly supporting us against these enemies?” Thackeray asked in the second part of his interview to Sena mouthpiece Saamana.
“The BJP might be considering the Shiv Sena as its number one enemy. That is why may be, Pakistan and China have been ignored? If they feel the Sena is a bigger enemy than these two nations, it is their misfortune, not mine,” he said.
There has been nearly a month-long border standoff between India and China in the Sikkim sector, which is seen as part of Chinese coercive tactics to change the status quo. India has taken a strong stand against such a Chinese move.
According to Thackeray, China’s strength cannot be ignored and India needs to make efforts to match it.
“If the ruling party remains stuck in elections and internal politics, it will be an injustice to the nation… You can win elections anytime, you have even won them. But, a war is a war and there is China on the opposite side,” he said.
“On one hand, they (the BJP) have been able to get back Kashmir from Pakistan and on the other hand, China is trying to expand,” Thackeray said.
The environment in the country isn’t good now, the Shiv Sena chief said, referring to the issue of gau rakshaks and instances of them resorting to violence.
“On how many fronts will you be able to fight at the same time?” he asked.
Asked on his interaction with Modi during the NDA meet held before the presidential polls, Thackeray said the prime minister welcomed him with a lot of affection.
The PM requested him to sit with him to eat and affectionately asked about the wellbeing of his family members. Modi even spoke to him in Marathi, the Sena leader said.
In the first part of the interview published on Sunday, Thackeray had accused the prime minister of being on a “centralisation spree” as he criticised demonetisation and goods and services tax (GST).
He had said reforms are a must, “but one should pause” to review their impact.
The Sena leader also said that going by government advertisements, one would get a feeling that everything was hunky-dory, but one should check the ground reality.