‘There is no way I can go back to NDA after PM called me a nakli santaan’, says Uddhav Thackeray | India News

MUMBAI: In the build-up to the final phase of polling for 13 seats in Maharashtra, Shiv Sena (UBT) chief Uddhav Thackeray ruled out any possibility of a reconciliation with BJP. Responding to PM Modi’s ‘Uddhav Thackeray is not my enemy’ remark, he said such statements suggest nothing but confusion in Modi’s mind. “There is no way I can go back to someone who calls me ‘nakli santaan (fake child)’ or Shiv Sena the ‘nakli Shiv Sena (fake Sena),” he said.
Referring to Eknath Shinde’s Shiv Sena, he reiterated his doors were “100% shut” for “the 40 traitors” who left the party. Thackeray said he would pursue investigations into irregularities committed under the Shinde govt if his party returned to power. He also said he would review the Dharavi Redevelopment Project for which, he said, rules were being made to suit the Adani group.
Thackeray also criticised MMRDA, saying it should only be allowed to execute projects outside Mumbai as its work had proved to be a drain on the city’s resources.
Shiv Sena (UBT) chief Uddhav Thackeray has addressed close to two dozen election rallies across Maharashtra. With the Lok Sabha campaign in the state now centred on the last 13 seats, the bulk of them in the Mumbai Metropolitan Region which goes to the polls in the 5th phase on May 20, he says his focus is on issues affecting people, not the politics behind them.
Q: Prime Minister Modi said in an interview that ‘Uddhav Thackeray is not my enemy and if there is a crisis, I will be the first to run and help him’. What do you make of this? Is there any chance of you going back to the NDA?
A: The Prime Minister is confused. This is not good for the country….he seems to be lacking direction now. For two terms, people have heard his lies. But now, people do not believe him. There is no way I can go back to someone who calls me ‘nakli santaan (fake child)’ or Shiv Sena the ‘nakli Shiv Sena (fake Sena)’. This is the country’s election, so he must speak about the BJP’s 2014 and 2019 manifesto and what he achieved.
Q: Chief minister Eknath Shinde says under the MVA govt, there was a plan to arrest 5 BJP leaders including Devendra Fadnavis.
A: This is not an issue for this election. I’m saying instead that Maharashtra is being looted on their watch. Maharashtra’s jobs are being taken away. The 40 traitors have got their ‘rozi roti’ but Maharashtra’s ‘rozi roti’ is being taken away. And the unconstitutional CM is not saying a word.
Q: Had BJP agreed to your power sharing formula in 2019, which you claim included sharing the CM’s post, would you have become CM?
A: No. I would have spoken to my party leaders and decided on the CM by consensus. I would not have become CM myself. I had not asked anything for myself.
Q: You have been in MVA for 5 years. How has your experience been after 25 years with BJP?
A: They gave me respect when in govt. They gave me support during the pandemic. Congress and NCP were cooperative. Even now we are together. We didn’t have any major problems with seat-sharing. There were issues in 1-2 seats but we have resolved them.
Q: Will you take back the 40 MLAs who left you?
A: There is no chance. That is a closed chapter. They attacked the foundations of the Shiv Sena. The doors are shut for them totally.
Q: You have been consistently critical of the Bullet Train project. If the INDIA bloc govt comes to power in Delhi, will you scrap it?
A: I don’t oppose things just for the sake of opposing. When there is a problem with local trains in Mumbai, can a bullet train be a priority? Piyush Goyal who is fighting from Mumbai, he was railway minister. Has he travelled by local trains? People from Vasai, Virar tell me there is a problem with frequency of local trains. Land meant for an International Financial Centre was given for the bullet train. Why? What is the financial benefit to Mumbai? If the Centre is so keen on it, then it should have funded it fully. The Centre should have taken loans from Japan, why put the state in debt? It doesn’t benefit anyone in Mumbai. What’ll people do going to Ahmedabad? Why didn’t they connect Mumbai and Nagpur by bullet train or Delhi or Patna?
Q: You have been saying tax policies too do not benefit Maharashtra…
A: 36-40% taxes of Central taxes are contributed by Mumbai and Maharashtra. If we send 1 rupee we get 8 paise in return. Our share must increase. There is a need to simplify GST as well. People are not criminals. We need to ensure states have their own direct sources of revenue. We are a federal structure, there is no need for one nation, one tax. States don’t have to beg before the Centre.
Coming to issues concerning Mumbai, you have spoken against the Dharavi Redevelopment Project.
They sold Dharavi to Adani. The govt issued a Govt Resolution (GR) for Transfer of Development Rights (TDR). I’m told that 150 crore sq ft worth TDR will be generated, and all over Mumbai, builders will have to compulsorily buy 40% of this TDR. Residents will be shifted to salt pan lands in Mulund. This is being opposed. We want rehabilitation in-situ, no shifting or transit accommodation. There are many micro businesses, they must also get in-situ space. We want to scrap the GR that makes it mandatory to use Adani’s TDR. All TDR must be used in Dharavi. Give 500 sq ft homes to people of Dharavi. You can’t sell everything and then ask a bankrupt BMC to provide basic amenities; so Adani makes money and Mumbai begs. Even the MSRDC’s plot in Bandra Reclamation has been given to Adani. They are making new rules for Adani. Adani is anyway subcontracting, so why can’t govt give out the sub-contracts directly? Why should govt not get the profits?
Q: BJP’s Piyush Goyal has also spoken about a “slum free Mumbai”.
A: Piyush Goyal who has not fought any election from Mumbai so far, is fighting from north Mumbai. When he went to Koliwada, he used a handkerchief to cover his nose. He said slums will be moved to salt pan lands. The Shiv Sena chief had said people must get homes where they live. Now a Union minister is saying they will move slum dwellers to salt pans. They will even move Koliwadas to salt pans and seal Mumbai off. They have got ministers to sit in BMC, which never happened before. Basically they want Mumbai completely under their control.

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