Shiv Sena president Uddhav Thackeray on Saturday attacked its ally Bhartiya Janata Party (BJP) and asked it to refrain from ‘teaching patriotism’. “Don’t teach us patriotism. The day when we need to be taught patriotism hasn’t come yet,” Thackeray was quoted as saying by PTI. The Shiv Sena chief made his comments while addressing the annual Dussehra rally of his party at Mumbai’s Shivaji Park. “An atmosphere was created that those who favour demonetisation are patriots and those who oppose it are traitors,” Thackeray said referring to Modi government’s decision to withdraw high-value currency notes from circulation last year. However, the Sena head appealed his partymen to refrain from launching personal attacks on Prime Minister Narendra Modi, as was seen during a recent Sena protest against inflation, PTI reported. Thackeray also pointed to the incongruity of the BJP sharing power with the PDP in Jammu and Kashmir.
“In Kashmir, what ideological bond do you (BJP) share with the PDP? Why hasn’t special status to Jammu & Kashmir been revoked?” he asked. “We allied with the BJP for Hindutva when the word ‘Hindutva’ was a taboo. If they (BJP leaders) think we are of no use to them, we’ll see,” Thackeray said. “Let us know what is your definition of Hindutva,” he asked. He also expressed his opposition to Modi’s bullet train project, he said, “Who wants the bullet train? Improve rail infrastructure first.”
He also slammed Modi government for higher petrol prices. Thackray said: “This government says GST brings uniform taxation. Where is the uniformity? Even Pakistan has cheaper petrol than us.”