Shown the Door, Uddhav Reminds of Amit Shah’s 2019 Promise

In his first interaction since he was ousted from power by “his own”, Uddhav Thackeray trained his guns on old ally and current bête noire BJP, harking back to how the situation would have been different if Home Minister Amit Shah had kept his 2019 “promise”.

A day after rebel Sena leader Eknath Shinde took over as chief minister in a surprise move by the BJP, Thackeray said: “BJP made so-called Shiv Sainik the chief minister. Had Amit Shah kept his word given to me, there would have been a BJP chief minister in Maharashtra now.”

He added: “The BJP has backstabbed me for power. I had told Amit Shah earlier as well that there should be a Shiv Sena Chief Minister for 2.5 years (during the Shiv Sena-BJP alliance). Had they done this earlier, there would’ve been no Maha Vikas Aghadi.”

Thackeray’s grouse dates back to 2019 when in a shocker, the Sena ended its 25-year-old alliance with the BJP after winning the Maharashtra election. The former chief minister had then accused the BJP, especially Amit Shah, of a volte-face on a promise of rotational chief ministership in which the two parties would split the five-year term.

What followed was an alliance among ideologically opposed Sena, NCP, and Congress, which came together to stop the BJP behemoth from taking over the reins of the state.

Meanwhile, soon after Shinde was sworn-in, key decisions of Thackeray, including the shifting of the controversial metro 3 car shed out of the Aarey Milk colony, were reversed.

Reacting to the move on Friday, Thackeray said, “You (Shinde) backstabbed me, but don’t backstab the people of Mumbai.” He added: “I am saddened by the decision on Aarey metro car shed. Aarey is not a private plot. Trees were killed in Aarey in the middle of the night. I had stayed the construction at Aarey when I took over as CM, but I was not hindering development. I had given Kanjurmarg as an option.”

On the other hand, addressing a press conference in Panaji, Deepak Kesarkar, one of the rebel MLAs of Shiv Sena, said that in Eknath Shinde, there is a CM who actually works and can go to any corner of the state. “There’s a Deputy CM who didn’t wonder how he would become the Deputy, being an ex-CM. Both of them have such knowledge and determination that if they come together, they can change Maharashtra,” he added.

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