Mumbai: Maharashtra Chief Minister Eknath Shinde has said if Shiv Sena founder Bal Thackeray had been alive, he would have patted Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s back for the Ram temple construction in Ayodhya and scrapping of Article 370 that gave special status to Jammu and Kashmir.
Shinde was addressing a rally on Monday at Rajapur in Ratnagiri-Sindhudurg Lok Sabha constituency of Maharashtra as part of his party’s ‘Shiv Sankalp’ mass outreach programme for the general elections due in a few months.
The Ram temple consecration ceremony would be held in Ayodhya city of Uttar Pradesh on January 22.
In 2019, the Centre abrogated provisions of the Article 370, which bestowed special status on the erstwhile state of Jammu and Kashmir.
“The abrogation of Article 370 and construction of the Ram temple were Balasaheb Thackeray’s dreams. These have now materialised because of Prime Minister Narendra Modi. Had Balasaheb been alive, he would have patted Modi’s back in appreciation,” Shinde said.
Shiv Sena founder Bal Thackeray died in 2012.
On his rebellion in June 2022 against the Shiv Sena leadership which split the party and brought down the Uddhav Thackeray-led Maha Vikas Aghadi government, CM Shinde said the move was not for selfish reasons but to keep “Balasaheb’s thoughts alive”.
“We are the true descendants of his thoughts. When the Shiv Sena (UBT) asked for Rs 50 crore lying in the accounts of Shiv Sena, we gave the money. We are not here for money,” he said.
After the split, the Election Commission gave the Shiv Sena name and ‘bow and arrow’ symbol to Shinde’s faction. The Shiv Sena (UBT) led by Uddhav Thackeray has the flaming torch as its symbol.