Uddhav Reaches Out to Socialists; Says if BJP Can Shower Flowers on Pak Cricketers He Can Talk to Samajwadis – News18

”We had ideological differences even though our objective was the same. Differences can be resolved when we sit and talk,” Thackeray said.
(PTI File Photo)

Addressing a gathering of 21 socialist parivar parties, Thackeray also said if the BJP can shower flowers on Pakistani cricketers at the Narendra Modi stadium, he can also talk to socialist parties

Shiv Sena (UBT) leader Uddhav Thackeray on Sunday said the old differences with socialists were mainly ideological which can be settled for the cause of democracy.

Addressing a gathering of 21 socialist parivar parties, Thackeray also said if the BJP can shower flowers on Pakistani cricketers at the Narendra Modi stadium, he can also talk to socialist parties.

Slamming Thackeray, his bete noire and Maharashtra Chief Minister Eknath Shinde accused the Shiv Sena (UBT) leader of committing a ”sin” of pandering to socialists who had ”insulted and opposed party founder Bal Thackeray in his lifetime”.

At the gathering, Thackeray recalled that despite differences, his father and Shiv Sena founder Bal Thackeray and socialist leaders had come together for the common cause of Samyukta (united) Maharashtra.

The movement achieved its goal when Maharashtra was created as a Marathi linguistic state in 1960 with Mumbai as its capital.

”We had ideological differences even though our objective was the same. Differences can be resolved when we sit and talk,” Thackeray said.

He recalled how George Fernandes managed to defeat Congress stalwart SK Patil in the 1960s, saying the trade union leader instilled confidence among people that Patil, a Mumbai strongman who had the backing of industrialists, could be defeated.

”It can happen even now if we stand united for democracy. Cadres are very important and if we have a strong cadre, there is no need to fear,” he added.

Thackeray said Shiv Sena- founded in 1966–and socialist parties have had a long history of differences but they did come together on issues like Samyukta Maharashtra.

”Samajwadis also played an important role in the movement against Emergency. Despite differences, Acharya Atre, SA Dange and (Bal) Thackeray were on the same page during the movement for a united Maharashtra,” he added.

Hitting out at the BJP, Thackeray said the BJP joined hands with Shiv Sena (undivided) after the assembly bypoll in 1987 showed that the election could be won by consolidating Hindu votes.

He alleged the BJP wants to grow by ”destroying” others, and currently, it doesn’t want anyone. ”At this moment, I have nothing to offer you because I possess nothing. When you join hands with someone who cannot offer you anything, it is true friendship,” the former Maharashtra chief minister said.

He accused the BJP of splitting parties and alliances which are doing well.

”If the BJP can shower flowers on Pakistani cricketers at the Narendra Modi stadium, I can also talk to socialist parties. Many of them may be Muslims but they are nationalists who want to protect the country’s democracy,” he said.

Thackeray alleged that Jan Sangh, the forerunner of BJP, was instrumental in splitting the Janata Party on the dual membership issue.

Speaking in Thane on Sunday night, Shinde said, ”Even Balasaheb Thackeray will not forgive such an act of joining hands with Congress and socialists. Uddhav has committed a sin of joining hands with socialists who insulted and opposed Balasaheb Thackeray in his lifetime”.

The Shiv Sena (UBT), a constituent of the INDIA bloc, is trying to rebuild itself for the 2024 polls in view of a vertical split in Shiv Sena (undivided) last year.

After the split, the faction led by Thackeray joined hands with Vanchit Bahujan Aghadi (VBA) led by Dalit leader Prakash Ambedkar and Maratha outfit Sambhaji Brigade as part of its social engineering plan.

(This story has not been edited by News18 staff and is published from a syndicated news agency feed – PTI)