Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray on Monday said assuming the top post was never his dream or ambition, but when he realised that the promise made to his father could not be fulfilled by staying with the BJP, he decided to accept the bigger responsibility.
In an interview to Sanjay Raut, the executive editor of Shiv Sena mouthpiece 'Saamana', Thackeray said 'Hindutva' to him means honouring the word given by him. Asked if he was an 'accidental Chief Minister', the Shiv Sena president said, "Maybe."
On breaking the ties with the BJP and aligning with ideologically different parties like the NCP and Congress, Thackeray said such tie-ups were made earlier also, and asserted that the interest of the state and country was not bigger than any ideology. "I was not new to political power as I have seen my father (late Sena chief Bal Thackeray) wield it since my childhood. What came unexpectedly was the chair of power (CM's post)," he said.
Thackeray said he had decided that he will go to any extent to fulfil the promise made to his father about making a Shiv Sainik Chief Minister of the state. "My becoming Chief Minister is the first step towards fulfilling the promise made to my father," the 59-year-old Shiv Sena president said. In an interview to Raut, Uddhav said the Shiv Sena chief never accepted the post of power and he also never wished for it. "When I realised that I can't achieve the promise made to my father by staying with the BJP, I had no option but to accept the bigger responsibility," he said.
Asked if he had shocked people by accepting the post of Chief Minister of an unlikely coalition, Thackeray said, "political shocks are of many kinds". "Promises made are supposed to be fulfilled. There is sadness and anger of breaking a promise and then I had no option. I don't know if the BJP has recovered from the shock. What big did I ask... the moon or stars? I just reminded them about what was agreed upon before the Lok Sabha elections," he said.
Shiv Sena snapped ties with its pre-poll ally BJP last year over the issue of sharing the Chief Ministerial post in the state. Thackeray earlier claimed that a 50:50 formula was "agreed upon" between himself, the then BJP president Amit Shah and then Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis ahead of the last year's Lok Sabha polls.
(With agency inputs)