Won't allow others to use Shiv Sena’s shoulders to fire

Won't allow others to use Shiv Sena’s shoulders to fire

Shiv Sena president Uddhav Thackeray. PTI

I will not allow anyone to use Shiv Sena’s shoulders to fire, party president Uddhav Thackeray said in a strong statement justifying the party's decision to stay away during the no-confidence motion moved against the Narendra Modi-government.

“When we supported we did it openly, when we opposed we did it openly,” Thackeray said in an interview to Sanjay Raut, Shiv Sena Rajya Sabha member and executive editor the party's mouthpiece Saamana.

The interview's teaser was released on Sunday.

The three-part marathon interview will appear in www.saamana.com, Sena’s Marathi mouthpiece Saamana and hits Hindi tabloid-version Dophar ka Saamana on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday.

The  interview was recorded in the wake of Friday’s Opposition-sponsored no-confidence motion against the Modi government, during which the Shiv Sena abstained from voting despite being part of the government.

“Confidence or no-confidence…what is this about… I will not allow anyone to use Shiv Sena’s shoulders to fire,” Thackeray said.

“You think, you are nationalists and we are traitors…?,” he asked in a strong statement.

Thackeray had so far not spoken on the no-confidence motion, though Raut, who is also the party spokesperson, had said that it was an “appropriate decision” taken by the party.

“Whether we are in government or not, it does not matter, it is what (Shiv Sena founder) Balasaheb (Thackeray) told us… We never run for power,” Raut told a Marathi news channel on Friday evening.

“We did not speak (by abstaining from the proceedings of Lok Sabha) but the message went across… Sometimes silence is important,” he said.

“In fact, what people spoke (in the floor of the House) we have been saying it since the last four to four-and-a-half-years,” he said, adding that when demonetization happened, the first person to come out in support was TDP founder N Chandrababu Naidu, however, it was Uddhav Thackeray who opposed it the very next day.

Asked about the fiasco about the whip issued by Chandrakant Khaire, he evaded a direct answer.

“Uddhav Thackeray is the president of our party… He took the decision at the appropriate moment, his phone was ringing throughout the day…Everyone wanted to speak to him… You may recall when (former prime minister) Atal Bihari Vajpayee faced the no-confidence motion and got defeated… (BSP supremo) Mayawati took the decision in the last three minutes,” he said.

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