Taking a dig at the BJP-led government over incidents of mob lynching, the Uddhav Thackeray-led Shiv Sena said cows were safer than women in the country.
“We are a part of the government but if something is wrong, we will definitely talk about it. We are friends of the Bharatiya Janata, not of any party,” Thackeray said, taking a dig at Bhartiya Janata Party’s (BJP) name.
Shiv Sena is BJP’s alliance partner in Maharashtra and the Centre.
On incidents of mob lynching in the country, the Shiv Sena chief said BJP’s idea of Hindutva was fake, and criticised the government for failing to check cow vigilantism.
“In this country, cows are safe but women are not,” he said in an interview to Sena mouthpiece ‘Saamana’.
“In the name of saving the cow, if you are shifting focus to whether someone is eating beef or not, then it is a sham. This is not Hindutva.
“I do not accept the idea of Hindutva that is being adhered to in the country. Our women are unsafe and you are protecting cows,” Thackeray said.
“We (Shiv Sena) never said cows should be slaughtered. But while protecting cows, India has become the most unsafe country for women. One should be ashamed of it.
“You want to save ‘gau-mata’ (cow) but what about ‘mata’ (mother),” he said.
Targeting the BJP over the debate on nationalism, Thackeray said the BJP had no right to decide who was a nationalist and anti-national.
“Anyone criticising the government does not become anti-national. Members of Parliament are representatives of people and have the right to raise questions,” he said.
Thackeray said his party has opposed only those decisions which appeared not to be protecting the interests of the poor.
“I criticise the government if it is taking any wrong steps. I cannot take the appeasement route to woo them (BJP). The previous (UPA) regime was defeated by people and there were big expectations from this NDA government. But this government is also functioning like the previous one,” he added.