Mumbai: Shiv Sena president Uddhav Thackeray said he was not a detractor of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, but will always speak up when he doesn't approve of something. "I am not a critic of Modi, but I will speak on the issues where I don't agree (with Modi government's decisions)," he said.
Sena, an ally of the BJP in the Centre and in Maharashtra, continually takes swipe at the the prime minister and his party, especially through its mouthpiece Saamana. Speaking at the release of a Marathi book Gof, penned by Sena's Rajya Sabha MP and Saamana executive editor Sanjay Raut on Saturday, Uddhav said his father (late Bal Thackeray) had taught him to speak his mind.
RSS leader Sunil Deodhar, who is credited for the BJP's victory in Tripura Assembly elections, was present at the function. "If we come together as Hindus, there will be no division of votes. But if there are differences of opinion and views, then the question arises who is the real Hindu," Uddhav said.
"You (Deodhar) have come back to Maharashtra after 28 years, if you hadn't left, this state would have fared better," the Sena chief said. "You gave your sweat and blood to install a BJP chief minister in Tripura, but what should one do when he makes laughable comments," he added, in apparent reference to Tripura chief minister Biplab Deb's widely reported comment that the internet existed during the Mahabharat era.
The Sena was the first party to win an election on the issue of Hindutva, Uddhav pointed out. "We got our first MLA elected on the issue of Hindutva. Then others realised that Hindutva can be a political plank," he said. "In the last 25 years, we had a friendship based on Hindutva. But when 'Achhe Din' came, the Shiv Sena becomes unwanted. This is what hurts me."
"Those leaders who created India are no longer there. But there are many who preach. One is shocked on seeing how those who preach behave," he added.
Uddhav added he doesn't run Saamana as a business. "I never ask to see the Saamana editorial before it is printed," said Uddhav, whose name appears as the editor of the newspaper.
Updated Date: Apr 21, 2018 22:37 PM