Thackeray also said that becoming the chief minister was never his dream or ambition.
Mumbai: Chief minister Uddhav Thackeray has indicated that he is likely to choose the Legislative Council to enter the state legislature instead of contesting the Assembly election. Mr Thackeray, who is not a member of either the state Legislative Assembly or Council, has to get elected to any one of these houses in six months.
In an interview with Sena mouthpiece Saamana, Mr Thackeray said, “In the next two or three months, I will take a decision on contesting polls. I will never run away from my responsibilities. But for getting elected to the Assembly, somebody will have to resign. I will take the decision without hurting anyone.”
Mr Thackeray also said that becoming the chief minister was never his dream or ambition.
“When I realised that I can’t achieve the promise made to my father by staying with the BJP, I had no option but to accept the bigger responsibility,” he said. Mr Thackeray said that he had decided that he will go to any extent to fulfill the promise made to his father about making a Shiv Sainik the chief minister of the state.
He also said that a 50:50 formula was agreed upon between himself, the then BJP president Amit Shah, and the then chief minister Devendra Fadnavis ahead of last year’s Lok Sabha polls.
“Promises made are supposed to be fulfilled. There is the sadness and anger of breaking a promise and then I had no option. I don’t know if the BJP has recovered from the shock. Did I ask for the moon or the stars? I just reminded them about what was agreed upon before the Lok Sabha elections,” he said.
On criticism from the BJP that he had compromised on the Sena ideology, Mr Thackeray hit back saying, “You want to break other parties and induct their prominent leaders. Is the laundry with you only? What’s wrong if we align with parties?”
On aligning with ideologically different parties like the NCP and Congress, Mr Thackeray said such tie-ups were made earlier also, and asserted that the interest of the state and country was bigger than any ideology.
“I was not new to political power as I have seen my father (late Sena supremo Bal Thackeray) wield it since my childhood. What came unexpected was the chair of power (CM’s post),” he said.
“My becoming chief minister is the first step towards fulfilling the pro-mise made to my father,” the 59-year-old Shiv Sena president said. The Shiv Sena snapped ties with its pre-poll ally BJP last year over the issue of sharing the chief ministerial post in the state.
Asked if he had shocked people by accepting the post of chief minister of an unlikely coalition, Thackeray said "political shocks are of many kinds”.
On what changed his earlier stand of going alone in the elections, Mr Thackeray said, “When (the then BJP president) Amit Shah paid a visit to me, I felt what is the harm in starting all over again." Thackeray said he went to Gandhinagar and Varanasi when Amit Shah and Prime Minister Narendra Modi filed their respective nominations for the Lok Sabha polls last year.
“I got sandwiched between the elder (Modi) and younger brother (referring to BJP leader and former chief minister Devendra Fadnavis). Making a promise and honoring the word givenis Hindutva for me,” he said.
Asked about aligning with parties of different ideologies, Thackeray said it had happened before and cited the example of the previous BJP-led governments at the Centre.
“Are the ideologies of BJP and (Lok Janshakti Party leader) Ram Vilas Paswan, (JD(U) president) Nitish Kumar, (Trinamool Congress chief) Mamata Banerjee and (TDP head) Chandrababu Naidu same?” he asked. “In Kashmir, there was an alliance with the PDP and talks were held with separatists. The interest of the state and country is bigger than ideology,” he said.