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Aaditya Says Rebel Sena MLAs Should Seek New Mandate; CM Shinde asks Thackerays for introspection

Shiv Sena leader Aaditya Thackeray on Friday challenged the rebel party’s MLAs, including Maharashtra Chief Minister Eknath Shinde, to seek a new mandate, saying he too was ready to step down and contest a new election.

At the same event earlier, Prime Minister Shinde said Uddhav Thackeray should ask himself why 40 of the Sena’s 55 MLAs are quitting instead of berating them.

“I reiterate my demand that the 40 rebel MLAs resign and seek a new mandate. I will also lay down my seat and stand for re-election. Let people decide,” Aaditya Thackeray said during the India Today conclave here.

“If I were the deputy prime minister (Devendra Fadnavis), I would have left this government and called for new elections,” he added.

His party believed in the ideals of the Constitution, the rule of law and justice, he said.

“If two-thirds of the legislative party revolt and the insurgency is legitimized, there would be unrest in the country,” he said, referring to the uprising by Shinde and others who led the Uddhav Thackeray-led Maharashtra government in June this year. brought down. .

Aaditya also criticized the state government for “postponing” citizen polls, including the elections for the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation.

“Over the past 25 years, we have turned a deficient civil society (BMC) into one with a surplus of Rs 80,000 crore and every penny is accounted for,” he said.

When asked about who should be blamed for the Shinde group’s uprising, Thackeray said: “Me and my father (Uddhav Thackeray) take the blame for the blind faith in the people we thought were ours. goods. We didn’t play dirty politics.” The Shinde faction requested the ECI to use the “bow and arrow” symbol only with the intent to damage the Shiv Sena, he said, adding that if justice prevailed, his side would get the symbol back.

Asked about claims that Uddhav Thackeray met Prime Minister Narendra Modi last year to discuss possible rapprochement with the BJP, he said then-Deputy CM Ajit Pawar and Minister Ashok Chavan had accompanied his father to Delhi.

“Is it necessary to give political color to normal meetings between a prime minister and a prime minister just because a traitor says so,” added Thackeray.

When asked about criticism that someone like him who speaks about climate change, urban planning and the environment was not fit to lead a party known for politics of aggression and intimidation, Aaditya said that one cannot be rigid, one must be willing to adapt and be open to ideas.

“My grandfather (Bal Thackeray) raised the issue of the sons of the Earth and Hindutva because these issues were prevalent during that period, while my father focused on development issues that were prevalent at the time,” he said.

Earlier at the event, Prime Minister Shinde said that Uddhav Thackeray had nothing new to say except calling him and his faction’s MLAs “traitors”.

“You can bribe two or three people, not fifty,” he told the Thackeray group’s charge that rebel MLAs received money to change their allegiances.

“Instead of introspection on what went wrong, he (Uddhav Thackeray) has made accusations against us. Ideology is important to me, not the position of the prime minister. Our MLAs were angry, the people wanted Shiv Sena to get out of the Maha Vikas Aghadi alliance. We stood for the Sena-BJP alliance that people voted for,” Shinde said.

He was a pro-people and pro-development government, he said, adding, “I believe ‘CM’ doesn’t mean prime minister, it means ‘common man’.” People were happy because all coronavirus-related restrictions have been lifted and they can celebrate festivals freely, Shinde said.

Asked if Uddhav Thackeray had told him about any assurances from Amit Shah that the BJP would be ready to share the prime minister’s post with the Sena after the 2019 elections, Shinde said Thackeray had told him about it.

“But no one else was there (during the meeting between Thackeray and Shah),” he added.

He later asked Prime Minister Modi and Shah about this meeting and was told that the BJP always keeps its commitments, Shinde further said.

“Nitish Kumar became prime minister, although BJP had more MLAs in Bihar. I had 50 MLAs with me and BJP 106, yet I became prime minister,” he added.

His rebellion was only intended to preserve the ideology of Sena founder Bal Thackeray and not for any position, the prime minister said.

“Balasaheb talked about abolishing Article 370 and building the Ram Temple (in Ayodhya). Who does these things?” he asked.

However, Shinde evaded a direct answer to questions about whether he would be the face of the current alliance with the BJP in the 2024 parliamentary elections.

“Even now I had no ambition to become a CM. Whatever we did, it was in the interest of the state and the country. People will decide,” he said.

Asked about his comparison with Deputy CM Fadnavis, Shinde said the two have “good alignment”.

“He has been prime minister before and his experience is important,” Shinde said.

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