Shiv Sena slams Eknath Shinde's ideology claim, asks 'which Hindutva...'text_fields
Shiv Sena leader Priyanka Chaturvedi on Friday slammed rebel leader Eknath Shinde's claim of the party diverging from its Hindutva ideology. "Which Hindutva teaches you to stab your party, which is like a family, in the back?" she said, talking to NDTV, and added that ideology is being used as a cover-up for the "BJP-backed" rebellion.
Eknath Shinde said that the Maharashtra alliance with the Nationalist Congress Party and the Congress was unnatural and that the agreement with the BJP should be reinstated.
Meanwhile, the revolt against Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray is intensifying with the latest developments saying that Shinde has the crucial number of 37 MLAs needed to split the party in the Assembly without violating the anti-defection law.
Ms Chaturvedi opined that it was not ideology that is the cause of Mr Shinde's actions: "He was given the second most important ministry, Urban Development, which usually the Chief Minister keeps with himself. His son is a member of Parliament."
She also claimed that not everyone who appears to be with Mr Shinde will "stand against scrutiny". "We are constantly in touch with them, and they are in touch with us."
When asked whether sections of her party were not satisfied with the sifter, more progressive image portrayed particularly by the Chief Minister's son, Aaditya Thackeray, she said, "Every party goes through churning, depending on which way the political narrative is shifting in the state... The BJP, too, is different from what it was during Atal Bihari Vajpayee's times."
Ms Chaturvedi explained an earlier statement by the party MP Sanjay Raut that the Sena could consider breaking up the alliance with Congress and NCP if the rebels returned and said "That statement was thrown a challenge, that, instead of speaking to us from Guwahati, they should come to Mumbai and face us... This was a challenge that exposed them further."
When asked if a breakup still is a possibility, she said, "A decision on the alliance cannot be forced upon us. We asked them to come and speak... it is too late for that now."
Asked when a floor test is likely in the assembly, Ms Chaturvedi said, "We will ask the speaker, deputy speaker, governor to first ask those MLAs to return. They cannot work from Guwahati hotel."
She dismissed suggestions that Uddhav Thackeray might have made some mistakes that caused the rebellion. Accusing the Centre's ruling BJP of being behind it, she said, "If there were issues, we could have sat across the table. Their letters now are being drafted by the BJP. Eknath Shinde has already said a 'superpower party' is supporting them." On criticism that the chief minister has been inaccessible, Ms Chaturvedi cited the Covid lockdown and his illness, according to NDTV.
She also addressed speculation that the Shinde camp could claim to be the real Shiv Sena, saying that rebels would have to have two-thirds of "all elected representatives of the party" with them. To a specific question about the assembly arithmetic, she said, "Let me remind you - let's say they have the number - they will be disqualified unless they merge. They will have to merge with BJP."
"Balasaheb was a person who maintained his words," she added, referring to Uddhav Thackeray's father and the party's founder, Bal Thackeray. "He stood by what he spoke. This (rebellion) is now Balasaheb's Hindutva."