MUMBAI — Challenging the new Maharashtra government headed by Chief Minister Eknath Shinde, Shiv Sena President Uddhav Thackeray on Friday said his party was ready to go to the peoples’ court and “face elections”.
Referring to the recent catastrophe that has left the Shiv Sena emasculated after an internal revolt, Thackeray, who quit last month as CM, said the common masses “don’t like these (political) games”.
“The people are asking the same questions – why they (the rebels) behave like this even when the party gave them so many posts… did so much for them. So many women activists had tears in their eyes yesterday. I thank the masses from the bottom of my heart,” said the Sena chief.
“Let there be elections. If we have committed a mistake, the masses will not vote for us, we will accept their mandate and we shall sit back,” he added, throwing the gauntlet at the new Shinde-Devendra Fadnavis government.
Referring to the June 20 rebellion which saw the collapse of the 31-month-old Maha Vikas Aghadi government he headed, Thackeray said that whatever has taken place now could have happened even two-and-half-years ago, “with dignity and without spending thousands of crores of rupees”.
Thackeray admitted that even he had felt “bad” after the rebellion of 40 Shiv Sena MLAs that led to the Bharatiya Janata Party-supported government of Shinde-Fadnavis taking office on June 30.
“They (rebels) kept quiet against those who targeted the Thackerays, used perverse language against my family and myself. But now, they have gone and sat in those very peoples’ lap,” reiterated Thackeray at a media conference in his home ‘Matoshri’.
Dwelling upon the ongoing “leaks” plaguing the party, he said the 56-year-old Shiv Sena is still strong and recalled the days when it started with a single legislator, then slowly grew to form governments in the state, giving opportunity to ordinary workers, and rewarding them with high posts.
Thackeray expressed gratitude to the people and also the 16 MLAs still supporting him as the party waits for the Supreme Court verdict on July 11. — IANS