Don’t worry about Maharashtra: Shiv Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray draws line for N. Modi
Mumbai – Shiv Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray has issued an advisory for the BJP’s prime ministerial candidate, Narendra Modi, who held a mega-rally in Mumbai over the weekend. “Don’t worry about Maharashtra,” Mr Thackeray writes acerbically in his party’s magazine.
At a huge public gathering attended by nearly three lakh people, Mr Modi had said that though Maharashtra and Gujarat were born on the same day, the latter had moved ahead.
Now, Mr Thackeray has retorted that lakhs of Gujaratis choose to make Maharashtra their home and that many Maharashtrians are on the Forbes list of the richest Indians.
The Sena president also says that while Gujarat has developed and prospered under Mr Modi’s leadership, Maharashtra’s growth rate was more impressive till the Congress took over.
Mr Thackeray ends his editorial by offering Mr Modi his best wishes for his run for prime minister.
The Sena is the BJP’s oldest ally.
When the BJP announced Narendra Modi as its presumptive PM in September, the Sena had backed its ally’s decision, but made it known that Mr Modi was not its first choice from among the potential candidates in the BJP. The party has said it would have preferred Sushma Swaraj.
Mr Thackeray had also said in editorials that making Mr Modi the face of its campaign, the BJP would find it hard to strike alliances. That observation was offered after Nitish Kumar and the Janata Dal (United) ended a 17-year partnership with the BJP over its decision to give Mr Modi the starring role in its national campaign.
Mr Thackeray later modulated his criticism of the BJP leader, stating that he is “not an enemy” and that he “is doing good work” as the Chief Minister of Gujarat.