You Betrayed Balasaheb, Sainiks: Eknath Shinde Responds To "Traitor" Jibe

"You don't even want to talk about Hindutva now... They keep opposing Savarkar and you did nothing... Savarkar is our God and we take his name with pride but due to Congress we were asked to be quiet," Eknath Shinde said.

"Balasaheb said he won't go with the Congress. You did that," Eknath Shinde said.

Mumbai:

Maharashtra Chief Minister Eknath Shinde flipped Uddhav Thackeray's slur of "Gaddar (traitor)" today, declaring it was he who had betrayed the Sena by forming an alliance with the Congress and Nationalist Congress Party. It was an insult not only to Sena founder Balasaheb Thackeray who was against both parties, but also the ordinary Shiv Sainik who had worked for the party for years, he said.

"Balasaheb said he would close down the Shiv Sena but won't go with the Congress. You did that and this was against Balasaheb," he said.

"You don't want to even talk about Hindutva now... They keep opposing (VD) Savarkar and you did nothing... Savarkar is our God and we take his name with pride but due to Congress we were asked to be quiet," Mr Shinde said.

Mr Thackeray, he alleged, "makes fun of the Prime Minister and calls Home Minister Amit Shah Afzal Khan". But they worked to fulfill Balasaheb Thackeray's dreams of scrapping Article 370 of the constitution and building the Ram Temple in Ayodhya.

"Modi and Amit Shah are fulfilling the dream and ideology of Balasaheb," he added.

"Did we take this decision in happiness? Even we were sad while taking this decision. But we were suffering for 2.5 years and that's why we had to do something. That's why in June we did what we did and 33 countries were continuously googling what we were doing," he said.

Levelling tit-for-tat allegations of greed, he said, "This isn't a private limited company where you will do a partnership" for that.  

Addressing a rally this evening at Mumbai's Shivaji Park -- the traditional venue for Sena's Dussehra rally, Mr Thackeray had accused the Chief Minister of being a "traitor" to fulfil his "greed".

Calling his move to split the party a "gadar" (rebellion), he compared it to the mutiny of 1857 against the British. "In 1857, when our people fought against the British, that wasn't 'gaddari', that was 'kranti' (rebellion)... this is also a 'kranti'," he said.

The Sena split in June after which the two factions have been toe-to-toe claiming the legacy of founder Balasaheb Thackeray. The battle for the bow and arrow election symbol has reached the Election Commission.

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