'Don't compel us to hit back': Uddhav warns BJP

'Don't compel us to hit back': Uddhav Thackeray warns BJP over 'misuse of central agencies'

Admitting that the central agencies are being misused, he said that he is keeping a close watch on the developments

Maharashtra Chief Minister and Shiv Sena president Uddhav Thackeray. Credit: PTI Photo

As the Maha Vikas Aghadi (MVA) completes one year in office, Maharashtra Chief Minister and Shiv Sena president Uddhav Thackeray sent out a strong message to his former ally BJP saying that he draws energy from challenges and if need be would hit back.

Admitting that the central agencies are being misused, he said that he is keeping a close watch on the developments.

“I am quiet, patient…but that does not mean that I am ineffective…and you start attacking my family,” said Thackeray, who heads the Sena-NCP-Congress alliance government that was formed after he broke ties with the BJP, its saffron ally of close to three decades.

In an interview to party mouthpieces – Marathi daily broadsheet Saamana and Hindi tabloid Dophar ka Saamana – that was conducted by Rajya Sabha member and Saamana executive editor Sanjay Raut, he said: “You attack my family, my kids…those who have families and kids, I tell them that their hands are not clean and I know how to deal with it.”

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Asked whether the MVA government would respond, he said: “Why government, Maharashtra will respond….the thought of revenge does not exist in Maharashtra”.

Thackeray said that in past Maharashtra had faced several problems, several crises. “Invaders came, what happened?....this is a land of tigers…we don’t want to get into revenge mode…if you have ‘pratishod-chakra’ we have ‘sudarshan-chakra’….don't compel us to hit back,” he said in what appears to be a stern message to the opposition BJP, that has been targeting the MVA government on a daily basis.

When pointed out that West Bengal Chief Minister and TMC founder Mamata Banerjee too is putting up a fight, he said: “Maharashtra and Bengal has a history of revolutionaries…in Maharashtra, we draw inspiration from Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj. He has taught us how to deal with situations…you do politics like politics.”

The 60-year-old Thackeray said he is not going to be cowed down by threats of CBI and ED. “We also have names…we also have maal-masala…but do we pursue revenge? If you want to take revenge, take it, you will take one, we will respond with 10,” he made it clear.

Asked about the Sushant Singh Rajput death case, the CBI probe, and Bihar elections, he said: “I pity them….it is unfortunate that a youth has died and you do politics over it. This is bad politics.”

Thackeray refused to comment on a question related to Bollywood actor Kangana Ranaut, who had targeted him, his family and the government. “I don’t want to speak on it, I don’t have time to speak on it,” he said, adding what has happened was an insult to Mumbaikars. This was an apparent reference to her comments equating Mumbai with Pakistan-occupied Kashmir.

On the Anvay Naik suicide case in which anchor-editor Arnab Goswami was arrested, Thackeray did not take any name but said that a Marathi businessman had died and the case investigation would go on. “Those who speak on it, you target them with ED,” he said referring to the ED probe against his close aide and Shiv Sena leader Pratap Sarnaik.

Raut also pointed out that the charges of BJP and state governor Bhagat Singh Koshyari appear to be the same, particularly on the issue of reopening of temples. “What do you mean…we have left Hindutva…is this a ‘dhoti’…Hindutva has to be in the blood….we follow Hindutva what has been taught by my father (Balasaheb Thackeray) and grandfather (Prabodhankar Thackeray)….don’t get into teaching Hindutva…In this country, Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj unfurled saffron and laid foundation of (Hindavi) swaraj….this land does not follow Hindutva of ‘dalals’,” he said.