BY QUAID NAJMI
On the 8th death anniversary of Balasaheb Thackeray, the Shiv Sena on Tuesday slammed the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and loudly reclaimed its ‘Hindutva’ legacy.
Two prominent party leaders in separate statements attacked the BJP for what they called “deviating from the all-inclusive Hindutva of Balasaheb Thackeray” and instead indulging in ‘politics of polarisation’ with the sole intention of grabbing power.
Sena MP and Chief Spokesperson Sanjay Raut said that his party doesn’t need its Hindutva certified by any other party.
“We were, we are, and will always be Hindutvawadi. We don’t play the Hindutva politics like them. Whenever the country needs us, the Shiv Sena will always come forward wielding the sword of Hindutva,” Raut declared.
Vasantrao Naik Sheti Swavalamban Mission (VNSSM) President Kishore Tiwari, who has been accorded a Ministerial status, wrote an open letter to the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) chief Mohan Bhagwat, asking him to crack the whip on the BJP.
“The legendary Hindutva Icon, the late Balasaheb Keshav Thackeray’s soul must be both happy and sad at the manner in which the Hindutva he propounded has been ruined by the party of 30 years (BJP),” said Tiwari in his two-page letter.
He said it is painful how the BJP “conveniently forgot” that the ground – on which the Prime Minister laid the foundation stone for the Ram Temple on August 5 in Ayodhya – was prepared by the late Thackeray.
However, a greedy ‘chandal chaukadi’ (lowly quartet) led by BJP Leader of Opposition Devendra Fadnavis “conspired against the Shiv Sena” to make it break away from the BJP and the NDA, and they succeeded at the heavy cost of breaking Hindutva, Tiwari alleged.
Tiwari pointed out how in Bihar, an anti-Hindutva party (JD-U) with half the strength of BJP, was given the post of CM, but the same yardstick was not followed for Shiv Sena (in 2019), which shows the “double standards of BJP” which Bhagwat needs to intervene in and correct.
He said that after its massive political-tactical blunders in Maharashtra, the quartet continuously harassed the Maha Vikas Aghadi (MVA) government of Shiv Sena-Nationalist Congress Party-Congress led by Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray.
The VNSSM chief pointed out that in their endless greed for power, the Fadnavis-led quartet even exploited the death of an actor (Sushant Singh Rajput) to win the Bihar Assembly elections, the credit for which solely goes to the PM as Fadnavis barely campaigned there and was in coronavirus quarantine.
“As our Sanjay correctly said that ‘Nitish Kumar became Bihar CM again only because of the lesson taught by the Shiv Sena’. But, Nitish Kumar is an ungrateful opportunist like the quartet and may ditch the BJP anytime,” warned Tiwari, and asked the RSS to evaluate the Bihar BJP-Janata Dal-United equations.
Tiwari claimed that Fadnavis is “so scared” that he has never faced any trial of strength of “the so-called BJP legislators inside/outside the legislature”.
“Now the quartet is threatening BJP MLAs, mainly from Marathwada and Vidarbha, who want to join the Shiv Sena and contribute to the state’s progress,” he said.
The farmer leader from Vidarbha told Bhagwat that Shiv Sena’s time-tested Hindutva legacy of Balasaheb Thackeray was “all-inclusive” and did not antagonise the minorities or other parties” and that the 3-party MVA government is doing better by giving adequate representation to minorities is proof of this.
On the other hand, the BJP’s brand of Hindutva is ‘divisive’, only to grab power in every state, waken/remove Constitutionally elected non-BJP governments, use minorities/Dalits as weapons to ‘polarize’ different communities, he said.
“Show one BJP state where minorities are given tickets by the BJP, elect MLAs/MPs or Ministers, including Bihar, Uttar Pradesh, Gujarat etc,” Tiwari dared in the letter.
Raut added that the Shiv Sena is carrying forward Balasaheb Thackeray’s Hindutva ideology and teachings, like ‘Sons of the Soil’ which is now being invoked by all political parties in the country.
“Balasaheb Thackeray took up this issue and the problem of unemployment 55 years ago. Today, the same issues are the mainstay of all social and political movements in the country, and even the Bihar 2020 elections centred on these two issues,” Raut asserted.
(Quaid Najmi can be contacted at: firstname.lastname@example.org)