Maharashtra Chief Minister Eknath Shinde on Wednesday took a jibe Shiv Sena (UBT) chief Uddhav Thackeray over ‘Hindutva’ and claimed that he had no right to seek votes in name of his father and Shiv Sena’s founder Balasaheb Thackeray.

Addressing party workers on Shiv Sena’s 58th foundation day in Mumbai, Shinde said, “Where has your Hindutva gone, you have no right to seek votes in Balasaheb Thackeray’s name.”

This comes after Thackeray accused Shinde’s ally BJP (Bharatiya Janata Party) of abandoning Hindutva.

Thackeray had also asked whether the BJP’s alliance with regional outfits Telugu Desam Party (TDP) and the Janata Dal (United) was organic.

The Shiv Sena (UBT) president then dubbed BJP’s Hindutva as “regressive” and described the one professed by his party as “progressive”.

Maharashtra Lok Sabha poll results

Launching an attack on Thackeray’s faction, Shinde had also claimed that the Shiv Sena (UBT) won some seats in the Lok Sabha polls because of Congress’ vote bank.

“Shiv Sena UBT has won only on Congress’ vote bank. They are not following the ideology of Balasaheb Thackeray…,” Shinde said.

He likened the Shiv Sena (UBT) poll victory to a “swelling” and added “It comes soon and goes away quickly as well. In the coming elections, it will go away.”

Shinde also said that the Shiv Sena needs to strengthen Mahayuti in Maharashtra for the upcoming Maharashtra assembly elections. “I assure you all that we will win more seats in upcoming elections,” he added.

Asserting his enduring relevance in Maharashtra politics, Shinde, who became CM in June 2022 after revolting against the leadership of his then-boss Uddhav Thackeray, said he will win more elections, referring to the assembly polls which are due in October. 

“Shinde’s relevance has not ended… I will win more elections in the coming days as well,” declared the CM, an ally of the BJP and the Ajit Pawar-led NCP.

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Published: 19 Jun 2024, 09:13 PM IST