On Dusshera and after nearly a week of brinkmanship with the BJP, Shiv Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray on Friday emphasized that his party would not quit the BJP-led government. He however took the government on, both at the state and at the Centre, on a range of issues from price rise to Dalit murders to its “failure” to deliver on the Hindutva agenda.
In a tumultuous week that saw Dalit children being burnt over a caste feud and senior BJP Cabinet ministers, Rajnath Singh and Arun Jaitely both condemning the outbreak of violence across the country--from ink attacks to cancellation of cricket negotiations and concerts featuring Pakistanis--there were clear signs that the BJP and the Shiv Sena were at a fork in their relationship.
Thackeray also blamed the break down of law and order in the country for the Dadri lynching as well as the incident in Faridkot where two Dalit children were burnt to death.
“These incidents like Dadri lynching bring shame to the country not the ink attack by Shiv Sainiks on Sudheendra Kulkarni. In Haryana, there is BJP rule, so how did this incident take place where a Dalit family was attacked and two children were burnt alive ? And, after such an incident, one of our BJP ministers makes a statement that equates Dalits with dogs.” he said.
According to the Hindustan Times, he cautioned the Centre that incidents like these were “sparks that could lead to a forest fire” and bring down the government.
Thackeray also challenged the government to deliver on “real issues” if it was serious about its Hindutva agenda.
“Instead of searching for beef eaters in every house, Why don’t you go ahead and declare India a Hindu Rashtra, we will support you. Why don’t you implement the Uniform Civil Code?” he said.