Shiv Sena (UBT) president Uddhav Thackeray on Sunday said all political parties need to open their eyes and remain cautious in the wake of the Election Commission's decision of recognising the faction led by Maharashtra Chief Minister Eknath Shinde as the real Shiv Sena.
The Election Commission (EC) on Friday recognised the Shinde-led faction as the real Shiv Sena and ordered allocation of the 'bow and arrow' poll symbol to it, in the process delivering a big blow to Mr. Thackeray, whose father Bal Thackeray founded the outfit in 1966.
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"What has happened to Shiv Sena, how we have been treated, can happen to you too. All parties should keep their eyes open and be cautious," Mr. Thackeray said during an interaction with members of north Indian community here.
"You want my father's face, but not his son. I was ready to come along. If you ditch me when I wanted to implement a promise given to my father, what should I do?" he asked while targeting the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP).
"I never wanted to be a Chief Minister, but was asked by Congress and NCP to take over because otherwise a government could not have been formed. Had BJP honoured the commitment given, both Shiv Sena and BJP would have got their Chief Ministers for two-and-a-half years each," he said.
“Some people from my party defected. Those who want to leave can go, but they should merge with another party. However, they want to throw me out of my house and take it over,” he alleged.
My father groomed these people and Shiv Sainiks supported them. But now they want to become owners and our institutions are such that they have made a thief the owner of the house. What is happening in the country, he asked.
But what has happened is good because people are angry and realised what has happened is wrong, Mr. Thackeray added.
Taking a jibe at Union Home Minister Amit Shah, Mr. Thackeray said, "' Mogambo khush hua' on the Election Commission order." Mr. Thackeray said the BJP pushed him towards joining hands with the Congress and Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) as it dishonoured a commitment given.
"I have left the BJP and not Hindutva. I don't accept BJP's Hindutva which divides people. The BJP is misleading Hindus, who are now awakened, by bringing issues like 'hijab' and cow slaughter during elections. There was a Hindu Akrosh Morcha in Mumbai recently. Why should Hindus make 'akrosh' when a powerful leader is ruling the country," he asked.
Targeting Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Mr. Thackeray said, "The leader whom we voted for a strong India, himself became strong while the country has become weak."
Terming as "injustice" the EC's decision to allot Shiv Sena name and party symbol to the Shinde faction, he said, "This is dirty politics. If you wanted to fight against Shiv Sena, you could have come on the poll field and let people decide."
Mr. Thackeray said Shiv Sena was never against Muslims and north Indians.
"All those who consider India as their motherland are our brothers," he said.
This is Mr. Thackeray's second interaction with members of the north Indian community settled in Mumbai in the last few days.