Shiv Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray on Tuesday claimed that had his party not supported the BJP to form the government in Maharashtra in 2014, the latter would have come to power by breaking the Opposition Congress and NCP.
In remarks laced with sarcasm, he said people did not make a mistake by voting for the BJP in the 2014 Lok Sabha polls, but alleged that they were “duped”.
He needled the BJP over its allegations of corruption against the UPA dispensation, on the back of which it came to power, but could not prove any charges.
“Had we not participated in the government, the BJP, like it goes on winning states through all possible means…Like it broke the Congress and Trinamool Congress (TMC) in Tripura, the BJP would have broken the Congress and NCP to come to power in Maharashtra,” Thackeray said.
“Instead of letting that happen, I let my people gain experience of working in the government,” he said, in the second part of his interview to Sena mouthpiece ‘Saamana’.
The Shiv Sena leader sought to know what happened to the 2G scam, which, he said, was discussed not only in the country but across the world.
“During that time (when the scam broke out), the country’s image stooped so low, as if there was no country as corrupt as India.
“The result was that the government changed, but nothing happened to the allegations of corruption. Even today, you (the BJP) talk about 60 years of corruption, but nothing has been proved yet,” the Sena president said.
“If there really has been corruption, prove it. It is improper to run away after slinging mud at others while holding a lotus in your hand,” he quipped.
Responding to another query, Thackeray said nowadays when somebody works, he is termed “corrupt” and if one does not, he is termed “inefficient”.
Asked what did he gain from being in power for four years in Maharashtra, Thackeray, whose party is an ally of the ruling BJP in the state and at the Centre, said the Sena ministers in the government got an experience of the administrative work.
“This was in a way a rehearsal of running the government. What should be done, what should not be done. Also, how to implement schemes,” he said.
Asked if Prime Minister Narendra Modi was only concerned about his home state Gujarat, the Shiv Sena leader took a dig at the former’s frequent visits abroad, saying Modi’s attention was only on foreign countries.
To another query, he said people of Maharashtra have experienced the governance of all parties, except the Sena.
“Power will come (in hands of the Sena) when people decide so. I am sure that people have experienced all other parties till now. But, they have not experienced Sena being the only party in power. That is why I got my people to experience being in power,” he said.
In the first part of the interview yesterday, Thackeray had taken a jibe at the BJP-led government over incidents of mob lynching, saying cows were safer than women in the country.
“We are a part of the government, but if something is wrong, we will definitely talk about it. We are friends of the Bharatiya Janata, not of any party,” he had said, taking a dig at Bhartiya Janata Party’s (BJP) name.