Speaking to Shiv Sena mouthpiece Saamana in an exclusive interview, Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray made it clear that the Sena had not compromised on its core ideology of Hindutva. At the same time, he justified the formation of the Maha Vikas Aghadi alliance with NCP and Congress. While admitting that Congress had a different ideology, he stated that all parties in the country had the best interests of their respective states and the country at heart. Taking a dig at BJP’s alliance with the PDP in Jammu and Kashmir, Thackeray opined that his party had not compromised in this manner.
Uddhav Thackeray said, “Remember one thing. Everyone has their own ideology. We are pro-Hindutva and will continue to remain so. While I acknowledge that the ideology of Congress is different, if you take the example of all parties in the country, does their ideology differ from seeking the best interests of the states and the country? Do we not want to seek the best for our state? Do we want to create unrest in the state and the country? Has the ideological compromise as seen in Kashmir happened here?”
After breaking its pre-poll tie-up with BJP due to a fight over the CM post, the Sena decided to join hands with its arch-rivals Congress and NCP. Thereafter, Uddhav Thackeray took oath as the CM of Maharashtra heading the three-party government. However, his party has been perceived to have let go off its Hindutva ideology for the sake of power. BJP has made this accusation over Shiv Sena’s weak stance on issues such as Veer Savarkar, chanting of provocative slogans, etc. Meanwhile, MNS chief Raj Thackeray sought to capitalise on this ideological vacuum by changing his party flag and giving a speech on January 23 that marked his party’s shift toward Hindutva.
The Maharashtra CM’s reference was to BJP’s ill-fated alliance with the Mehbooba Mufti-led PDP. As the 2014 Assembly election in J&K did not give a clear mandate to any party, BJP and PDP came together to provide a stable government in 2015. BJP was a staunch opponent of PDP due to its alleged pro-separatist stance. The situation deteriorated further when PDP founder Mufti Mohammad Sayeed passed away. Ultimately, BJP withdrew its support to the government leading to the imposition of President’s Rule. Subsequently, the Assembly was dissolved as no alternative government formation was possible. However, fresh elections have not been conducted in the state since then. Moreover, Mehbooba Mufti is one of the many political detainees after the abrogation of Article 370.