An angry BJP took strong exception to Shiv Sena President Uddhav Thackeray’s criticism of Prime Minister Narendra Modi over the poll rout in Delhi and dared its saffron partner to first quit the alliance and then attack its leaders.
“Instead of concentrating on what is happening in Delhi, Uddhavji should first concentrate on what is happening in Mumbai and Maharashtra. This election (in Delhi) was not a general election, but a state election. Thus, the question of bringing in Narendra Modi’s name does not even arise,” Mumbai BJP Chief Ashish Shelar said.
“If you intend to point fingers at Modiji, who is among the tallest leaders of BJP and Prime Minister of this country, then do not stay in the government with us. Have the courage of first leave power and then point fingers,” he said.
Uddhav had earlier said BJP’s mauling in the Delhi Assembly poll amounted to “defeat” for Modi and showed that tsunami is mightier than the “Modi wave”.
Asked if BJP was surprised by Uddhav’s stinging criticism of the Prime Minister, Shelar said, “Everybody speaks according to their nature. It must be his nature to speak like this.”
Sena, which is part of the BJP-led government in Maharashtra, is also a constituent of the ruling coalition at the Centre.
“It would not be wrong to call the results a defeat for Narendra Modi. Talks had been going on about a Modi wave sweeping the country. But the people of Delhi have shown that tsunami is mightier than a wave,” Shiv Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray said, taking a swipe at BJP over the poll debacle.
The Sena leader, who called up AAP convenor Arvind Kejriwal to congratulate him on the victory, said he would attend the oath-taking ceremony if invited.
“I spoke to (Arvind) Kejriwal and congratulated him on this victory. I also advised him to continue to work for Delhi and not commit the mistake of resigning from the CM’s post again,” he said.
Though Shiv Sena is part of the NDA government at the Centre and BJP-led dispensation in Maharashtra, the relations between the two parties have been far from smooth since the two parted ways just ahead of the state Assembly elections last year.
Uddhav said the Sena will continue to be in the government but at the same time ensure that the benefits of government schemes reached the people.
Both saffron parties had gone through a bitter break- up just ahead of Maharashtra Assembly poll, but patched up later as BJP failed to get a majority in the October election.
However, despite his party being part of the Governments in Maharashtra and at the Centre, Uddhav has been making critical comments against BJP.