Defiant Uddhav Thackeray rules out BJP tie-up, throws down gauntlet to PM Modi ahead of Maharashtra assembly polls

Shiv Sena leader Uddhav Thackeray asserted during the party's foundation day that he would not align with those who tried to finish off Shiv Sena. This puts an end to speculations of an alliance with the BJP before the Maharashtra assembly elections.

Updated20 Jun 2024, 11:33 AM IST
Mumbai, India: Shiv Sena (UBT) party chief Uddhav Thackeray addressed the party workers on the occasion of Shiv Sena's 58th foundation day at Shanmukhanand Hall in Matunga, Mumbai on Wednesday
Mumbai, India: Shiv Sena (UBT) party chief Uddhav Thackeray addressed the party workers on the occasion of Shiv Sena’s 58th foundation day at Shanmukhanand Hall in Matunga, Mumbai on Wednesday

Maharashtra Politics: Uddhav Thackeray on Wednesday, June 19, took a defiant stance against the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and Maharashtra Chief Minister Eknath Shinde-led faction of Shiv Sena during the Shiv Sena's 58th foundation day celebrations at Shanmukhananda Hall in Mumbai's Sion.

Uddhav Thackeray, the leader of the Shiv Sena (UBT) faction, has firmly asserted that he would never align with the BJP, the party that attempted to "finish off" his Shiv Sena. His remarks came during the 58th foundation day celebrations of Shiv Sena, putting to rest speculations of a potential alliance with the BJP ahead of the Maharashtra assembly elections later this year.

Also Read | Will Thackeray take back ’rebels’ who left him? Sena (UBT) chief says…

BJP leaders had taken a dig at the INDIA bloc's Lok Sabha election performance in Maharashtra. The saffron party had said that the INDIA bloc partners were mooching off of Uddhav Thackeray's hard work. This remark had triggered speculation that the BJP, after its dismal performance in the Maharashtra Lok Sabha elections, was planning to rope in the other faction of Shiv Sena headed by Thackeray.

The BJP is in alliance with Eknath Shinde-led faction of Shiv Sena in Maharashtra.

Uddhav Thackeray's 'Open Challenge' to PM Modi

Uddhav Thackeray reiterated the INDIA bloc's claim, stating, "Narendra Modi-led govt will collapse, we will set up INDIA bloc-led government." He challenged PM Modi to start campaigning for the Maharashtra Assembly elections immediately and fulfil the promises made by Chandrababu Naidu's manifesto in Andhra Pradesh.

"Are Chandrababu Naidu and Nitish Kumar pro-Hindutva? I challenge Narendra Modi to go to Andhra Pradesh and say that I will fulfil the (assurances in) Chandrababu's manifesto. Hasn't Chandrababu made promises to the Muslim community? "Hasn't Nitish Kumar given any assurances to the Muslim community in Bihar?" Thackeray said.

Naidu and Kumar are key allies of the NDA and helped the BJP-led alliance reach the majority mark in the Lok Sabha.

BJP's Dismal Lok Sabha Performance

The BJP's failure to achieve a simple majority in the Lok Sabha, winning only 240 seats, has evidently boosted the confidence of the INDIA bloc. On Wednesday, during the Shiv Sena foundation day celebration in Mumbai, Uddhav Thackeray accused the BJP of abandoning Hindutva and questioned the party's alliances with regional outfits like the TDP and JDU.

Maharashtra Lok Sabha Elections

In Maharashtra, the Congress won 13 seats, the Shiv Sena (UBT) bagged 9, and the NCP (SP) clinched 8 out of the 48 Lok Sabha seats. The seat-sharing deal saw the Uddhav Thackeray-led Shiv Sena (UBT) contesting the largest share of 21 seats, followed by the Congress at 17 and the NCP(SP) at 10.

The BJP won only nine seats, down from the 23 the party had bagged in 2019.

The Eknath Shinde-led Shiv Sena secured seven seats, and Ajit Pawar's NCP managed only one, reducing the NDA's total to 17 out of 48 seats in the state. In 2014, the undivided Sena-BJP alliance had won 43 seats.

Uddhav Thackeray's Message to Maharashtra CM Eknath Shinde

Uddhav Thackeray slammed Eknath Shinde, whose rebellion in 2022 led to the split of Shiv Sena, questioning his Hindutva credentials and denying him the right to seek votes in Balasaheb Thackeray's name.

Eknath Shinde, however, steered clear of attacking the opposition during his Wednesday's foundation day speech. CM Shinde said, “We have to strengthen Mahayuti in Maharashtra for the upcoming Maharashtra assembly elections. I assure you all that we will win more seats in upcoming elections."

In June 2022, Eknath Shinde launched a rebellion against Uddhav Thackeray along with 39 other Sena MLAs and joined hands with the BJP, leading to the collapse of the Thackeray-led Maha Vikas Aghadi government in the state.

Disqualification of rebel Shiv Sena MLAs

On Wednesday, Uddhav Thackeray once again reiterated his demand. "No poll should be held for 11 seats of Legislative Council to be elected by MLAs till SC rules on disqualification," he said. The polls for these 11 seats are scheduled for July 12.

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First Published:20 Jun 2024, 11:33 AM IST
HomePoliticsDefiant Uddhav Thackeray rules out BJP tie-up, throws down gauntlet to PM Modi ahead of Maharashtra assembly polls

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