Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray on Wednesday said that breaking away from their Hindutva ally BJP was a hurtful decision as his Shiv Sena stood by the latter in times of crisis.
In an interview with Shiv Sena-run Marathi newspaper Saamana, he questioned BJP for ditching the Hindutva alliance for political power. However, he avoided a direct response over whether Sena and BJP will join hands again.
"I am honestly saying that it was not a game. We were with the BJP from the past 25-30 years and it was not any sort of political compulsion. We have a relationship with Pramod Ji (Pramod Mahajan), Nitin Ji (Nitin Gadkari), Gopinath Ji (Gopinath Munde) and besides them Atal Ji (Atal Bihari Vajpayee). I was anguished while breaking up with them (BJP). This has hurt me a lot... During the time of crisis, our party stood like a mountain for them...there were attacks on Hindutva, we took it upon ourselves... Why could not they stay united with the Shiv Sena?" Uddhav Thackeray said.
When asked if there is any window or door of opportunity of rapprochement with BJP in the future, CM Thackeray gave a diplomatic answer. "Whatever I have done so far, I have done with an open heart. It was BJP who stepped out of the door... They themselves closed the doors. I have clearly said a lot of times that we have wasted our 25 years by being in alliance with them (BJP)", stated the Shiv Sena chief.
The Shiv Sena chief also tried to downplay the question of whether he sees an expansion of the cross-ideological Maha Vikas Aghadi alliance with Congress and NCP at a national level. "We'll see. It has started with a state and whether the country is learning lessons from it or not is yet to be understood. Unless we know that, there's no point in talking."
When pressed on the subject given his elevation to the post of Maharashtra CM from a government outsider, Thackeray said, "I never thought of the CM post for myself. But I always wanted a Shiv Sainik to occupy the post."