Mumbai: Despite strained relations, Shiv Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray has made it clear that his party will not walk of the alliance with the BJP in Maharashtra, but will continue to raise its voice on issues like price rise which can be a reason for the government to fall.
"We will not break the alliance but we will not lower our voice," Mr Thackeray, 55, said at the Shiv Sena's annual Dussehra rally in Mumbai's Shivaji Park this evening. The Sena is part of the BJP-led Devendra Fadnavis government in Maharashtra.
Mocking the BJP on the contentious issue of Ram temple, the Sena chief said, "Some say they will build a temple in Ayodhya but won't tell you when."
With the prices of pulses soaring, the Sena chief was quick to remind the BJP that they should not focus on beef, rather on inflation. "Why are we talking about gai (cows)? Let's talk about mehengai (inflation)... The government that cannot stop inflation is useless. It can fall because of price rise, it must remember that."
Mr Thackeray also attacked the BJP saying "How can you come for the foundation stone laying ceremony for Ambedkar's memorial while your minister (VK Singh) makes a dog analogy while talking about killing of Dalits?" Uddhav Thackeray had skipped the ceremony earlier this month while Prime Minister Narendra Modi was in Mumbai for the event.
Reacting to Mr Fadnavis' comment that Sena's actions in the past few days have brought a bad name to Maharashtra, Mr Thackeray said, "Incident like Dadri lynching bring a bad name to the country, not ink attacks." Shiv Sena activists, earlier this month, smeared ink on veteran journalist Sudheendra Kulkarni for organising the book launch of former Pakistani foreign minister KM Kasuri in Mumbai.
Over the last few weeks, tension between the ruling allies had increased after the Sena forced the cancellation of Pakistani ghazal singer, Ghulam Ali's concerts in Mumbai and Pune, despite the BJP's disapproval.