Uddhav targets BJP, says politics of dismantling opposition parties won’t endure

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Mumbai: The Shiv Sena (UBT) on Sunday criticised the BJP, stating that its policy of undermining other political parties is not sustainable.

Taking aim at the BJP’s initial Lok Sabha candidate list, which included figures like Kripashankar Singh, previously accused of money laundering, Shiv Sena (UBT) chief Uddhav Thackeray expressed surprise at the exclusion of senior leaders like Nitin Gadkari from the list.

Singh, who had faced allegations of financial misconduct, was nominated to contest from Jaunpur, Uttar Pradesh, in the upcoming Lok Sabha elections, as announced by the BJP on Saturday.

The BJP has not released its candidates for the 48 Lok Sabha seats in Maharashtra.

Shiv Sena (UBT) MP Sanjay Raut targeted Maharashtra’s Deputy CMs Devendra Fadnavis (BJP) and Ajit Pawar (NCP) over Singh’s inclusion in the BJP list.

Responding to remarks made by Thackeray and Raut, Singh claimed he was discharged from all cases by the court even as he questioned the political credibility of someone (read Thackeray) without his own party.

Thackeray, without directly naming the BJP or Prime Minister Narendra Modi, remarked, “The politics of dismantling opposition parties will not endure… ‘jumla’ should be renamed as ‘guarantee’.”

Referring to the list, he highlighted his past collaboration with Union minister Gadkari, who had expedited the completion of the Mumbai-Pune expressway, a project initiated by Shiv Sena founder Balasaheb Thackeray.

Singh had headed the Mumbai unit of Congress and served as a Minister of State for Home. He parted ways with the Congress in 2019 due to disagreements regarding the party’s stance on the abrogation of Jammu and Kashmir’s special status by the NDA government. He later joined the BJP in 2021.

“I don’t take remarks of a person who doesn’t have a political party of his own and didn’t attend office at the Mantralaya for even two-and-half days during his tenure of 2.5 years as chief minister, seriously,” he told PTI.

Meanwhile, Raut referred to Fadnavis’s earlier claims about prosecuting leaders like Ajit Pawar and Kripashankar Singh, raising doubts about the BJP’s governance standards.

Hitting back at Raut, Singh said comments of the Shiv Sena (UBT) leader who is out on bail in a serious matter should not be taken seriously.

“I have already been discharged from all cases by the court,” Singh added.

Regarding the future political landscape in Maharashtra, Raut emphasised the unity between the Maha Vikas Aghadi (MVA) and Prakash Ambedkar-led Vanchit Bahujan Aghadi (VBA) workers to counter the BJP and prevent potential authoritarian rule post-2024.

The MVA comprises the Shiv Sena (UBT), NCP-Sharadchandra Pawar and Congress.

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