Debating India


Sena, BJP likely to part ways

Saturday 18 June 2005

MUMBAI: Shiv Sena chief Bal Thackeray on Saturday hinted at his party parting ways with the BJP in the wake of recent controversy about L K Advani’s remark regarding Jinnah.

"We share a friendship with BJP on the issue of Hindutva. Though there still are hardcore people in the BJP, going by their recent shenanigans we hope a time does not arise when unfortunately we have to say there ’was’ a friendship between Sena and BJP", Thackeray said in a front page interview in the party mouth piece Saamna .

"There is ideological confusion within the BJP on the issue of Jinnah", he said.

Expressing views on the controversial leader, he said, "Jinnah cannot be termed secular as he did not even protest the bloodshed during partition", he said.

"Mahatma Gandhi wanted Jinnah to become Prime Minister of independent India and he expressed the same to Nehru. But the latter immediately quipped as to what was Jinnah’s contribution to the freedom struggle?" Thackeray said.

The Sena chief further remarked that "Jinnah led a posh life in London, smoking cigars, drinking whisky, wearing a suit and necktie. He neither observed the traditional fast, the roza , nor did he read the Holy Quran. He did not like traditional Muslims visit the mosque or say the ritual prayers, the namaz ".

On the ’ideological confusion’ in the BJP in the wake of Advani’s remarks, Thackeray said "one Advani does not mean the entire BJP. When one policeman commits a rape, you cannot defame the entire police force. Don’t defame a party because of the fault of one person."

Thackeray said the demolition of Babri Masjid was a ’good thing’. "It should have been demolished in a proper manner...should have been uprooted", he said and recalled that immediately after the demolition, he had said that ’if the persons who demolished it were Shiv Sainiks, then he was proud of them.’

Referring to Pakistan President Pervez Musharraf’s recent visit to India, the Sena chief said he did not salute the father of the nation Mahatma Gandhi while visiting Raj Ghat in Delhi.

"He just threw rose petals on Gandhi’s samadhi but did not offer namaskar (salutations)", he said in the interview.

Thackeray also criticised BJP leader Sushma Swaraj for greeting Musharraf ’in an Islamic style’ during his India visit. "Swaraj is talented, smart and good looking and is a senior leader. What was the need for bending so much while greeting Musharraf?"

See online : The Times of India

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