Latching on to Bharatiya Janata Party president J P Nadda’s comments that family-run parties will perish, Shiv Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray on Monday accused the ruling party at the Centre of conspiring to finish off regional outfits.
Talking to reporters here, Thackeray also slammed the BJP over the arrest of Sena leader Sanjay Raut by the Enforcement Directorate (ED) in a money laundering case and hailed the Rajya Sabha MP as a “true Shiv Sainik” who did not succumb to pressure.
“The BJP is conspiring to finish off regional parties. The mask is off. I had thanked (Governor Bhagat Singh) Koshiyari that you inadvertently brought the dream of crushing Marathi manoos out before us.
Similarly, the BJP president has also revealed they do not want other parties to exist in the country and want dictatorship,” the former Maharashtra chief minister said.
Koshiyari had kicked off a storm last week with his remarks that Mumbai would no longer remain the country’s financial capital if Gujaratis and Rajasthanis were asked to leave the metropolis.
The governor, however, had later claimed his remarks were misconstrued. Last week, Nadda had said in the times to come only an ideology-driven party like the BJP will survive, while others ruled by families will perish.
“This (Nadda’s statement) is very dangerous and serious. His comments indicate taking the country towards dictatorship and autocracy. The politics today is distressing,” Thackeray said.
The way the BJP is expanding itself, it is only using force and not the brains, Thackeray added. “If only you have strength and want to finish off others then time does not remain the same all the time. It changes. When time changes, the BJP and Nadda ji must think what will happen to them,” he warned.
Targeting the BJP over the arrest of Raut, Thackeray asked where democracy was if agencies like the Central Bureau of Investigation, the ED and the Income Tax department are used against political opponents.
Hailing Raut, Thackeray said the Rajya Sabha MP was a hardcore Sainik of Shiv Sena founder Bal Thackeray and did not succumb to any pressure.
Asserting that those who speak against the government are getting indicted, he said, “I am proud of Sanjay Raut. What crime has he committed? He is a journalist, a Shiv Sainik is fearless and speaks what he does not approve of.”
Attacking the BJP for vendetta politics, Thackeray said Raut could have switched sides but had asserted he would “die but not surrender”. “Those who switched sides have gone for a bath in the ‘Hamam’ (bathing place) and till the time the foam of power is over their body, they can criticize us. But they will realize the situation (in the future),” Thackeray added.