Mumbai: A day after Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray’s comments on Hindutva, senior BJP leader Devendra Fadnavis, on Monday, hit back at former ally Shiv Sena, saying its Hindutva is merely on paper and doesn’t go beyond speeches.
Fadnavis said under the leadership of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, a Ram temple is being built in Ayodhya. Modi also developed the Kashi Vishwanath temple corridor, the former Maharashtra CM said addressing a press conference.
On the other hand, the Sena (which is in power in Maharashtra) could not even rename Aurangabad as Sambhajinagar, and Osmanabad as Dharashiv. But, Allahabad was renamed as Prayagraj (under the BJP government in Uttar Pradesh), while the Sena kept merely mincing words, he said.
The Shiv Sena has time and again referred to Aurangabad — a city built by Mughal ruler Aurangzeb — as Sambhajinagar after second Maratha king Chhatrapati Sambhaji (the son of Maratha warrior Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj), and Osmanabad as Dharashiv.
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The Sena fell out with the BJP after the 2019 Maharashtra polls and tied up with the NCP and Congress to form the Maha Vikas Aghadi (MVA) government in the state.
In his address to Shiv Sainiks on Sunday, which was also the birth anniversary of his father and party founder Bal Thackeray, Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray said the Sena has left the BJP and not Hindutva.
The CM had also said, “I believe that BJP’s opportunistic Hindutva is only for power. The Shiv Sena had aligned with the BJP as it wanted power for Hindutva. The Sena never used Hindutva for the sake of power.”
Reacting to the comments, Fadnavis on Monday said, ”Who all from the Sena participated in the Ram Janmabhoomi movement? We are the ones who took bullets and lathis in the movement. Your (Shiv Sena) Hindutva is merely on paper.”
“Modi ensured that Ram temple was built in Ayodhya (in Uttar Pradesh), but the Sena could not solve the Durgadi temple issue in Kalyan (town of Maharashtra). What is your Hindutva beyond speeches? You need to live Hindutva. It is not restricted to speeches,” the BJP leader said.
Fadnavis also said even before the Shiv Sena was born, there was Bhartiya Jana Sangh — the erstwhile avatar of the BJP — its corporator in the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation and MLAs in the state. In 1984, Shiv Sena leader Manohar Joshi contested the Lok Sabha poll on BJP’s ticket, he said.
On Sunday, Uddhav Thackeray had also said that, ”The BJP doesn’t mean Hindutva. I stand by my comment that the Shiv Sena had wasted 25 years in alliance with the BJP.” To this, Fadnavis claimed that when the Sena was with the BJP, it became the number one party, but, when it not in an alliance with the BJP, the Uddhav Thackeray-led party has now slipped to the fourth position. He was referring to the recent local body polls where the Sena bagged fourth position. “So with whom did the Sena waste its years?” Fadnavis wondered.