Mumbai: The Shiv Sena on Friday said Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray share brotherly ties and that it is the responsibility of the former to co-operate with his "younger brother" who has taken charge of the state.
Apparently referring to the Centre, the Shiv Sena said Delhi should respect the decision made by the people of Maharashtra and take care that the stability of the state government is not bedeviled.
The Sena made the comments in its mouthpiece 'Saamana' as it latched onto wishes extended by Modi to Thackeray after he took oath as the chief minister on Thursday evening.
Modi has in the past referred to Thackeray, who is also the Sena president, as his "younger brother". The relations between the Shiv Sena and Modi's party, the BJP, turned sore in Maharashtra over sharing the chief minister's post on rotational basis in the state.
The Sena snapped its decades-old ties with the BJP and formed a tri-party coalition, which also consists of the NCP and the Congress, to form the government in the country's richest state. "Congratulations to Uddhav Thackeray Ji on taking oath as the CM of Maharashtra. I am confident he will work diligently for the bright future of Maharashtra," the prime minister tweeted after Thackeray was sworn-in.
Responding, the Shiv Sena referred to Modi as "our prime minister" and said he has wished Maharashtra attains speedy development under Thackeray's leadership. "The Centre will have to co-operate (with the state) for that (speedy development). The Centre will have to extend help to bring Maharashtra's farmers out of their miseries," the Shiv Sena said.
The Shiv Sena made the remarks in the editorial of the Marathi daily. "The BJP-Shiv Sena are sharing strained relations in Maharashtra politics, but Modi and Thackeray share brotherly ties. "Hence, it is the responsibility of Shri Modi to cooperate with the younger brother from Maharashtra as the prime minister," it added.
The Shiv Sena maintained the prime minister does not belong to any single party, but the entire country. "Delhi should respect the decision people of Maharashtra have taken and take care the stability of the state government is not bedeviled," it said.
The soil of Maharashtra is filled with valour as inspired by Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj and the people of the state had fought with Delhi for its creation, the Shiv Sena said. "Delhi is the capital of the country for sure. But Uddhav Thackeray, son of Balasaheb Thackeray who took firm stand all along that Maharashtra is not a slave of Delhi, has now become the chief minister. So, there is a surety that the government will have its spine intact," the saffron party said.
The Shiv Sena also hit out at the previous Devendra Fadnavis government in Maharashtra, of which it was a part, for "imposing" over "Rs 5 lakh crore-debt" on the state.
Hence, Thackeray will have to take speedy yet cautious steps to realise his plans, the ruling party said. Thackeray is heading the ruling coalition, Maha Vikas Aghadi, a post-poll alliance between the three major non-BJP parties which took shape after declaration of assembly poll results on October 24.
Though espousing different ideologies, the Sena, the Congress and the NCP have devised a common minimum programme which will guide the actions of the Thackeray-led government.