Mumbai: Apparently targeting its former ally BJP, Shiv Sena on Saturday said it was its leader Bal Thackeray who stood up for Hindutva while others used it as a "shield for political gains" and warned that "those who came to conquer Maharashtra were buried in the state's soil".
It sought to give credit to late Bal Thackeray's efforts for BJP coming to power at the Centre.
"The battle (for October 15 Assembly polls) is one for self-respect," an editorial in Sena mouthpiece Saamana said here.
"Be it Aurangzeb or Afzal Khan, those who came with vested interests were either buried here or became extinct," the Sena organ said.
"After Shivaji Maharaj, it was Bal Thackeray who created history. Shivaji set up the Hindavi Swarajya but it was the late Sena chief who had the determination to unfurl the Hindutva flag in the country," it said. It expressed surprise over politicians who indulge in "moonh mein Ram bagal mein chhoori" approach.
"The late Thackeray faced several attacks for ensuring propagation of Hindutva in Maharashtra and the country. Like in the case of Aurangzeb, (Thackeray) vanquished the new Aurangzebs. Its fruits are today seen in Delhi and Maharashtra," the editorial said.
In a veiled attack on BJP leadership, the Sena mouthpiece said, "Aurangzeb camped in Maharashtra to overthrow the Maratha regime but could not succeed.
"Aurangzeb, who came to conquer, had to bite the dust here. Maharashtra always protected national interest. It did not use the shield of Hindutva for political gains."
The 25-year-old Sena-BJP alliance fell apart this week over the issue of seat sharing in the assembly polls.