Shiv Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray on Friday sought Gujaratis’ support, a day after criticising them, to win the Maharashtra assembly elections later this year.
Thackeray said in a statement here that late party supremo Bal Thackeray always used to say that if the Marathis and Gujaratis stood united, they could create wonders.
The voting in the ongoing Lok Sabha elections has shown this wonderful “miracle” is about to happen, he said.
“Now, wait and watch what happens further. The unity of the Gujarati-Marathi communities will not crack or break…In all the future elections, they (Marathis and Gujaratis) must display this unity and help achieve Bal Thackeray’s dreams. Let us unfurl the Hindutva flag on parliament and the state assembly,” Thackeray appealed.
The statement came a day after an editorial in the party’s mouthpiece “Saamana” asked whether the Gujaratis, who had supported the Bharatiya Janata Party’s prime ministerial candidate Narendra Modi, would rally behind the Shiv Sena-led Grand Alliance in the 2014 state assembly elections.
The editorial went to the extent of alleging that the Gujaratis and other non-Marathi businessmen have extracted a lot from Mumbai, virtually using it like an “attractive prostitute” to construct their own Dwarkas (cities of gold).
It said the Gujaratis have no love for the city, which gave them so much. They were now deciding which government should come to power in Delhi and who should be kept out on the basis of their wealth.
The editorial asked the Gujaratis whether they were prepared “to give back to the state” from where they have earned so much wealth and fame, and wondered if the community would support the Shiv Sena in the assembly elections.
On Thursday evening, senior Sena leader Subhash Desai worried about the fallout of the editorial, and sought to distance himself from the views.
Pleading that the editorial should not be misconstrued, Desai said it only attempted to convey that unity was imperative to ensure Mumbai’s development.