Thursday, April 11, 2002, Chandigarh, India


M A I N   N E W S

Abandoning Hindutva led to BJP debacle: Thackeray

Shirdi, April 10
Shiv Sena supremo Bal Thackeray today blamed BJP’s “abandoning” of the Hindutva plank for its recent electoral debacle saying the “curse of Hindus” has adversely affected the party.

“Neglecting the cause of Hindus was responsible for the recent electoral reverses suffered by the BJP,” Mr Thackeray said referring to the party’s debacle in Assembly elections in Uttaranchal, Punjab and Municipal elections in Delhi.

The Sena chief was addressing partymen on the concluding day of the two-day party conclave in the temple township.

Mr Thackeray made it amply clear that his party would never discard its policies on staunch Hindutva, but rather pursue it more vigorously.

“The BJP is losing its base in the country while the Congress is gaining an upper hand”, the Sena chief noted adding that even party leaders like Bangaru Laxman and Anna Dange have started openly criticising the BJP leadership. “It was due to the inept governance of this government”, he said.

Without naming anyone, Mr Thackeray came down heavily on the government saying “We need a leader who can tell Muslims to follow the law of this land”.

Sharply criticising the so-called secular forces, Mr Thackeray said if the voting right of the Muslims was withdrawn then none of these “secularists” would shed tears for their causes. “It is nothing but vote-bank politics”, the Sena chief said.

Dismissing demands for the removal of Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi, he said “It was politically motivated”.

“Why was the demolition of Babri mosque played up and its subsequent reaction in Mumbai in the form of communal riots was ignored by the secularists?” the Sena chief asked.

“It was only because in Godhra, Hindus and not Muslims were burnt alive”, he said.

“If rights of the Hindus are not protected in this nation then I do not care for your secularism, burn it”, he said.

Referring to reports that Christian missionaries have become active in the country, Mr Thackeray said “They (Christians) have got a godmother in Ms Sonia Gandhi”.

He also came down heavily on Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Jayalalithaa for opposing abrogation of Article 370 in Jammu and Kashmir and Trinamool Congress chief Mamata Banerjee for observing black day on December 6.

He also slammed George Fernandes for taking contradictory stance on various policy matters.

He said he was running 76 years and would “not leave his job till the green poison was removed” from the nation.

Meanwhile, the Shiv Sena demanded that the Union Cabinet adopt a resolution for the construction of a Ram temple in Ayodhya to pave the way for the realisation of Hindu sentiments, just as the Vajpayee government showed the political will to convene an extraordinary joint sitting of Parliament to pass the Prevention of Terrorism Act.

“The government had the strong will to ensure that the new law was enacted. Why can’t this same strong will be shown to solve the Ayodhya dispute?” asked Sena Rajya Sabha member Sanjay Nirupam, speaking on a resolution (pratigya) moved on the issue on the concluding day of the conclave.

The resolution demanded that the temple construction at the disputed site be included in the agenda of the ruling National Democratic Alliance (NDA) at the Centre and approved by the Cabinet. PTI, UNIBack

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