Mumbai: Shiv Sena president Uddhav Thackeray on Wednesday denied insulting Prime Minister Narendra Modi, saying he has respect for him.
"I have not insulted Narendrabhai. I have respect for him," Uddhav said while responding to criticism by senior BJP leaders of an article published by 'Dopahar Ka Saamana' slamming Modi which also had a derogatory reference to his father.
He, however, accused the BJP of "backstabbing" allies like the Shiv Sena and Haryana Janhit Congress.
"They (BJP) were with us when they needed us and left us when the need was fulfilled. What did they do with Bishnoi? They said in a public rally that he would be the next Haryana chief minister. I have the tape recording to prove it," he told reporters after casting his vote in suburban Bandra.
"Why did they stab us in the back? BJP will have to answer that," he said.
Uddhav was accompanied by his wife Rashmi and son Aditya to the polling booth.
The Shiv Sena leader further said that he was confident the turnout will increase and the people of Maharashtra will vote for the leaders they trust.
“Common man is most powerful which is seen in Modi ji who was 'chai wala' is now PM, that same power will work here,” Uddhav said.
“Maharashtra’s problems are a challenge, I've come with answers. That’s why people in Maharashtra will make us win here,” he added, sounding confident.
Uddhav has indicated that he is not averse to becoming CM if his party wins majority in the elections, whose results will be out on Sunday (October 19).
It may be noted that the Shiv Sena is this time fighting the elections alone, after the party's 25-year-old alliance with the BJP collapsed in the run up to polls.
(With agency inputs)