Mumbai: Driving a hard bargain with BJP over seat sharing in Maharashtra assembly polls, Shiv Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray today reminded Prime Minister Narendra Modi that after 2002 Gujarat riots his father Bal Thackeray had prevailed on L K Advani not to remove Modi as Chief Minister.
Asserting that the alliance should stay "as it is for Hindutva", Uddhav said, "Everyone knows how terrible the situation was when the Godhra riots took place.
"Everyone was saying that Modi should be immediately removed from the Gujarat CM's post. At that time, it was only Balasaheb who told L K Advani that Modi should stay on as he pursues the Hindutva ideology," he said.
Uddhav was echoing what Bal Thackeray had reportedly said in an editorial in the Sena mouthpiece 'Saamana' in February 2009.
"Modi gaya to Gujarat gaya (If Modi goes, Gujarat will also slip out of BJP's hands)," Bal Thackeray had claimed to have told Advani on moves to remove Modi after the communal riots in Gujarat.
"There were hectic moves to remove Modi from the post after the Godhra riots. We clearly told Advani that Gujarat will be lost if Modi is removed," Thackeray had said in the editorial.
Bal Thackeray died in November 2012.
Uddhav today reminded Modi that just as Sena did not play a spoilsport in BJP's "Mission 272' in the Lok Sabha polls, BJP should now respect Sena's `Mission 150' for the Maharashtra polls.
"There are Shiv Sena workers in UP, Rajasthan and MP as well. They all wanted to fight elections saying they have been with Sena for long and thus deserve a chance. But we didn't let them contest (against BJP/NDA candidates). Now it is Shiv Sena's turn. It is our mission to send at least 150 MLAs to the Vidhan Sabha. BJP should consider this," he said.
"I feel from the bottom of my heart that the alliance should stay as this alliance is not for the Chief Minister's post but for Hindutva. But whatever happens will be my destiny. We are ready to contest all the seats," the Sena chief said.
Shiv Sena today said it will fight on 151 seats, leaving 119 seats for BJP and remaining 18 seats for other allies
"I want power and I will take it at any cost. But this power is to give Maharashtra something and not to take away, like other parties do," Uddhav said.