Mumbai, Jan 16: Shiv Sena-UBT President and former Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray on Tuesday asked that if he was not the validly elected (undivided) party President, "then why did the Bharatiya Janata Party and Prime Minister Narendra Modi" seek his support in 2014 and 2019.
Addressing the media in the “Peoples’ Court” to analyse the recent ruling of Maharashtra Assembly Speaker Rahul Narwekar, Thackeray referred to the ruling in which the (undivided) Shiv Sena party constitution of 1999 was upheld.
"If that is true, then why did Prime Minister Modi ask me for support in 2014 and later in 2019? Why did Amit Shah come to my house for support… Why did the PM say that in the absence of my father, the late Balasaheb Thackeray, he always turns to me for guidance? With whose support did Devendra Fadnavis become the CM in 2014?" he thundered.
Attacking the Speaker’s verdict of January 10 on the disqualification of MLAs by the two rival party factions, Thackeray demanded that the Governor should convene a special session of the state legislature.
"Chief Minister Eknath Shinde should move a no-confidence against the Speaker in the special session… we shall support it… the Speaker must be removed," he declared.
Throwing the gauntlet at Shinde-Narwekar, Thackeray challenged them "to come out in the open and the people will show you which is the real Shiv Sena".
"I had no lust for power so I quit immediately (in June 2022), I also left the CM’s official bungalow. The Shiv Sena was founded by my late father Balasaheb Thackeray (in 1966). It’s our party… It belongs to all of you, and nobody can grab it from us," said Thackeray grimly.
Vowing to continue the fight for justice, he said that "now our only hope is the Supreme Court", and asked whether the orders of the apex court should be considered or the verdict of "the liars" must be taken into account.
He reiterated that all the relevant documents were submitted to the Election Commission and also the Speaker who did not consider them while giving his ruling last week.
Referring to the BJP President J.P. Nadda’s comment in the past, Thackeray said they want to eliminate all political parties and ensure that only one party is left.
"They have started killing democracy in the land of Dr. B. R. Ambedkar, who gave us the Constitution… The beginning has been made with Shiv Sena and Nationalist Congress Party. The question is whether democracy will survive or the Supreme Court will continue to exist…" he said.
Reiterating his confidence in the Supreme Court, Thackeray said from today, the issue will also be raised in the "Peoples’ Court", and the masses who are supreme in a democracy would decide, "and if they want me to sit at home, I will do it".
Thackeray’s no-hold-barred comments came at a town hall style meeting where his wife Rashmi, sons Aditya and Tejas, top party leaders, office-bearers, legal experts and grassroots activists were present as the event was live-streamed across the state.