Sena remains Hindutva-vadi, not converted: Thackeray

Sena remains Hindutva-vadi, not converted: Thackeray

Maharashtra Chief Miniter Uddhav Thackeray. (PTI photo)

Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray on Monday night said the Shiv Sena will remain "Hindutva-vadi" (pro-Hindu) and that it has not "converted", as far as the ideology is concerned.

Addressing a gathering of Shiv Sena workers in Nagpur, Thackeray, who heads the party, said the BJP-led Central government seemingly had no idea on where and how to settle Hindus and other immigrants who are set to get Indian citizenship under the new law (CAA).

"We are no doubt always Hindutva-vadi. I had said so in the Vidhan Sabha. We have not done any (ideological) conversion. We were Hindus even when a party had snapped ties with us in 2014 (ahead of the assembly elections)," he said in an oblique reference to former ally BJP.

Interestingly, the Common Minimum Programme (CMP) of the new government under Thackeray has committed itself to "secular" agenda.

The Sena shares power with the NCP and the Congress in the Maharashtra Vikas Aghadi (MVA) government, which came to power last month.

Thackeray further said the Sena would not allow raising the issue of Hindutva to create unrest in the country. "We will not forgive such people," he added.

He also said that the three-party ruling alliance is an example of coalition politics in the country.

"The government in Maharashtra is an example of coalition (politics) before the country. However, it seems the Centre is keen on creating more chaos and getting things done," the chief minister said.

Referring to the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA), which has triggered protests in many parts in the country, the CM wondered whether the Centre has clarity on the number of non-Muslim immigrants settling down in the country from Afghanistan, Bangladesh and Pakistan, as proposed by the new law.

"Standing behind Hindus and other minorities persecuted in these countries is fine, but does the government have a clarity on how many of them will come to India and from where? Do you have any record? Not at all. Where will you rehabilitate them?" he asked.

Referring to National Register of Citizens (NRC) which the Centre is planning to implement across the country, Thackeray further said it was his late father and Sena chief Bal Thackeray who stood behind Kashmiri Pandits when they were forced out of the Valley.

"All parties maintained mum on the plight of Pandits, except Balasaheb Thackeray who tried to get them homes of their own in the country," he said.

Thackeray hit back at the BJP on its demand that the Sena-led government waive loans of farmers with the "acche din" barb.

"We will fulfil the promises we had given to people, but I want to ask what happened to the 'acche din' promise and that of 'give me 50 days after demonetisation in 2016'," Thackeray said in a veiled jibe at Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

He appealed to Sainiks to continue to support him, saying he has not changed a bit after coming to power.

Thackeray further said he had reviewed the condition of Amravati and Yavatmal districts inthe Vidarbha region, apparently over farm distress.

"Issues like incomplete roads; slow pace of irrigation projects; farmers not getting crop loan and insurance remained the same. Our government will now resolve these issues," he said.

The CM said he would "not tolerate" if the coalition government "behaves like" the earlier dispensation, which was led by the BJP.

"Coalition government is a big responsibility. We are showing a different way to the country (sic)," he added. 

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