Mumbai: The Shiv Sena was not formed on the basis of Hindutva, but for the welfare of Maharashtra, the Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) said on Tuesday.
The party’s spokesperson Nawab Malik said that the Sena had travelled the wrong path because of its association with the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP). “Shiv Sena was formed to protect the lawful rights of the people of Maharashtra. It is because of its association with the BJP that the party had to travel the wrong path. It was never a Hindutva party,” Malik claimed.
The Shiv Sena, which was formed by Balasaheb Thackeray in 1966, is one the oldest alliance partners of the BJP and Hindutva was their common ideology. In fact, Shiv Sena’s rise in Maharashtra was mainly due to its role in 1992-93 riots in Mumbai — which claimed hundreds of lives — in the wake of the demolition of the Babri Masjid in Ayodhya.
After the recent Supreme Court verdict on the Ayodhya issue, Sena president Uddhav Thackeray had announced that he would visit Ayodhya on November 24.
However, after the Sena started talks with Congress and NCP, he called off his visit. The BJP, thereafter, accused Shiv Sena on compromising on Hindutva.
The NCP leader also dismissed Devendra Fadnavis’ claim that the Sena-NCP- Congress coalition would not endure. “Our government will run not only for five years, but for 20-25 years,” he said.