Shiv Sena will have to ally with BJP ‘for Hindutva’: Maharashtra CM Devendra Fadnavis

Despite its constant criticism of the BJP-led governments at the Centre and in Maharashtra, the Shiv Sena will have to ally with the BJP for the 2019 polls over the issue of Hindutva, Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis said Tuesday. He also strongly favoured construction of a grand Ram temple in Ayodhya.

He said those with even the basic understanding of politics know the BJP and the Sena would have to fight together to win elections. The BJP chief minister was speaking at the “Mumbai Manthan” conclave organised by Hindi news channel Aaj Tak.

Earlier this year, Shiv Sena president Uddhav Thackeray had announced his party would go it alone in all future elections. Though the Sena is a BJP ally, it often criticises the BJP-led governments at the Centre and in Maharashtra over their policies and decisions.

“Uddhav ji keeps talking about Hindutva. In that case, there are just two parties (the BJP and the Sena) working for Hindutva. Therefore, they have to ally with us for Hindutva,” Fadnavis said. Responding to a query on Ram temple, he said, “Devendra Fadnavis is one of the 125 crore Indians who want to see a grand Ram temple being built,”. The BJP wants to let the construction happen democratically and as per the Supreme Court’s directive, he added.

Fadnavis said the Supreme Court has validated the state government’s stand on the arrest of five Left-wing activists for their alleged links with Maoists. He, however, conceded the police department erred in holding a press conference over the issue.

After the arrest of activists in August-end, the Bombay High Court had raised questions over the Maharashtra police’s media briefing on its case against them. “It is possible we were wrong but how could we sit back while we were being constantly abused? If we have erred, we will apologise, but they (the activists) were trying to spread anarchy. “Their crime won’t be lessened even if we apologise (for the presser),” said Fadnavis, who also holds the home portfolio.

Fadnavis said there are “pseudo-liberals” in Delhi who are trying to save these activists, but what the BJP was doing was in the national interest. “There are more evidence apart from the assassination plot of (Prime Minister Narendra) Modi ji. We have 10 times more evidence against these activists than we had based on which professor (G N) Saibaba was convicted (for Maoist links),” he said.

The police had claimed to have unearthed a Maoist plot to kill Prime Minister Narendra Modi. The chief minister said the opposition was not concerned about the country and it was only thinking about removing Modi from power.

Fadnavis said he had no hatred for the Gandhi family and regarded its members just as his political and ideological opponents. “We are in the same country not in Pakistan,” he said.

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