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Shiv Sena vows to go it alone in 2019 elections

Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray said the party had decided to fight the elections alone for the sake of Hindutva

Gulf News

Mumbai: In a bid to shake off its partnership of more than 25 years with the BJP, the Shiv Sena on Tuesday passed a resolution that it would go it alone in the Lok Sabha or general elections and Maharashtra assembly polls in 2019.

Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray said the party had decided to fight the elections alone for the sake of Hindutva (Hindu nationalism).

“We will fight elections in every state for the cause of Hindutva. I take this vow today,” Thackeray said at the party’s national executive meeting, where the resolution was passed.

Thackeray’s 27-year-old son Aaditya, the Sena’s youth wing leader, was also elevated as the member of the executive at the meeting.

The resolution not to partner with the BJP in the 2019 elections was moved by Sena MP Sanjay Raut and was unanimously passed.

Raut said the party would win at least 25 Lok Sabha out of a total 48 in Maharashtra and 125 assembly seats out of a total 288 in the state.

Relations between the Sena and BJP, allies at the Centre as well as the state, have soured through the years, and at Tuesday’s meeting, the senior Thackeray took the opportunity to make scathing attacks on Prime Minister Narendra Modi on his foreign visits.

Modi, he said, calls himself a prime minister “but all he does is travel abroad.”

He further said that the country’s top leadership had become arrogant.

He criticized Modi, saying people thought he was a strong leader but he was only interested in flying kites with foreign leaders in Ahmedabad.

“Modi took Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to Ahmedabad, why not to Lal Chowk in Srinagar? Why couldn’t he have done a road show in Srinagar. We would have felt a sense of pride towards our Prime Minister if he had hoisted the tricolor in Lal Chowk.”

He also said his party differed on the definition of Hindutva and therefore “we shall contest elections in every state and that too on the Hindutva plank. It is immaterial whether we win or are defeated but our Hindutva will never be abandoned.”

Thackeray also said the BJP was making false promises. “When elections come we hear about ‘Acche Din’ (good days) but no one knows if we are progressing or regressing. Industries are closing down and there are no jobs for youngsters.”.

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