Hijutva for power, Hindutva only for power: Uddhav Thackeray

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Hijutva for power, Hindutva only for power: Uddhav Thackeray

Maharashtra Chief Minister and Shiv Sena President Uddhav Thackeray said on Sunday that his party will try to expand its footprint outside the state and aim for a national role even as he accused the BJP of using Hindutva as a political convenience.

He said that the National Democratic Alliance NDA led by BJP has shrunken as old constituents like Akali Dal and Shiv Sena have already walked out of the bloc.

Uddhav said that the Sena had aligned with the BJP for the agenda of Hindutva through power, as he spoke to Shiv Sainiks virtually on the 96th birth anniversary of the party founder and his father Bal Thackeray.

Shiv Sena had aligned with BJP as it wanted power for Hindutva. Sena never used Hindutva for the sake of power, he said.

The Sena has left the BJP and not Hindutva. He believes that BJP's opportunistic Hindutva is only for power.

Thackeray said that the Sena spent 25 years with the BJP as an ally. Sena fell out with BJP after the 2019 Maharashtra polls and tied with NCP and Congress to form the Maha Vikas Aghadi MVA government.

We supported the BJP wholeheartedly in order to enable them to fulfill their national ambitions. The understanding was that they will go national while we will lead in Maharashtra. We were betrayed and attempts were made to destroy us in our home. Thackeray said he had to backtrack Congress and the Nationalist Congress Party after the 2019 elections.

Responding to BJP's jibes that Sena had abandoned Hindutva for power, Thackeray said his party had left BJP and not the ideology of Hindutva.

I stand by my comment that Shiv Sena had wasted 25 years in alliance with the BJP, he said.

The leaders of Sena, including himself, didn't take local body polls seriously and campaign accordingly, according to the recent Nagar Panchayat elections, where Sena fared poorly and secured the fourth position.

Our new allies, Congress and NCP, have built institutions at the grassroots. We have to work in that direction. We lost two seats in the biennial elections to the Legislative Council in the last two years. He said that we lost because of neglect and not due to sabotage in our ranks.

He said that despite this setback, Sena should aim to consolidate its presence at the national level and resolve to capture power in Delhi.

Thackeray asked Sena workers and leaders to focus on building institutions in the cooperative and banking sector in rural areas.

He said there is no point talking about contesting elections if our hands are not strong.

Thackeray said that the Sena should expand beyond Maharashtra and aim to capture Delhi.

He appealed to Shiv sainiks to work with zeal and build the party organisation at the grassroots as the party is in power in Maharashtra.

Thackeray, who recovered after undergoing spine surgery, hit Maharashtra BJP leaders for attacking him over his health.