Mumbai: Projecting his party as more radical than the BJP on its Hindutva agenda, Shiv Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray on Thursday demanded that the Centre declare India a Hindu Rashtra and implement the Uniform Civil Code. The Sena chief once again pushed the party’s anti-Pakistan stand and said the country had been defamed because of the Dadri lynching and not because ink was flung on Sudheendra Kulkarni’s face. Uddhav tried to underplay the rift between the Sena and the BJP ending speculation that the parties were going their separate ways.
In his hour-long speech at the party’s traditional Dussehra rally at Shivaji Park, Uddhav took potshots at the BJP. Ridiculing the BJP for its slogan “Mandir Vahi Banayenge”, Uddhav said that the BJP never gave any deadline for that. The Sena chief did not spare the alliance partner on inflation and asked the BJP to hold a discussion on inflation instead of the beef ban. “Instead of searching for beef in people’s houses, declare the nation a Hindu Rashtra and implement the Uniform Civil Code. We are with you in that decision. Then let us see who slaughters cows?" Uddhav said.
Referring to incidents like Dadri, and the dalit killing in Haryana, Uddhav cautioned the BJP-led government by saying that such incidents ruined the country's image more than the Sena's anti-Pakistan stance.
“Incidents like Dadri are a blot on the country. Throwing ink on someone is not. In Haryana, where BJP is ruling, a dalit family was burnt alive. A minister compared a dalit family with stray dogs. If this was the feeling you had for dalit, then why did you create such a hoopla around Indu Mill land programme?" he asked.
This was a dig at the BJP for not inviting him for laying the foundation stone of the Dr Babasaheb Ambedkar memorial.
Slamming speculation and criticism by BJP leaders over Shiv Sena stepping down from the government, Uddhav said he did not want any rift within the saffron alliance.
“I do not want any controversy between the Sena and the BJP. Our government is the last hope for the people,” he said. However, the Sena leader immediately clarified that his party would not compromise its anti-Pakistan stand.
“These secular people keep saying that we should not to bring politics into art and sports. In that case, why not play Gulam Ali's music at Lal Qilla on Republic Day? Pakistan refused sweets that were given on Id. Then why should we bother about relations? Why does the BJP have a problem if we speak against Pakistan? We will not leave the issue alone,” Uddhav said....