Mumbai:In the name of protecting the cow, India has now become the most unsafe country in the world for women and everyone should be ashamed of this, Shiv Sena President Uddhav Thackeray said on Monday.
“Yes, of course, we must protect our Cow Mother, but what about ‘my mother’? This is no Hindutva,” he said, in a marathon interview ahead of his 58th birthday on July 27, given to party mouthpieces ‘Saamana’ and ‘Dopahar Ka Saamana’, the first instalment of which was published on Monday.
Thackeray said that for over 25 years, the Shiv Sena and Bharatiya Janata Party were allies because of the shared ideology of Hindutva, status of Hindus, national interest and the country’s security among others.
“But what is Hindutva, my father, the late Shiv Sena founder Balasaheb Thackeray was often asked. His reply: Nationalism is our Hindutva. We don’t want Hindus who just go to ring bells in temples sporting a ‘choti’ and a ‘janoi thread’. Balasaheb’s idea of Hindutva has to be propagated and implemented vigorously now,” Thackeray urged.
On last week’s no-confidence vote in the Lok Sabha against the BJP government in which the Sena kept out, he said the trust motion was the outcome of the “betrayal of the people” by the ruling party.
“Normally, the opposition brings up a no-confidence motion, but here it was the Telugu Desam – the first instance in India that a former ruling ally lost confidence in the government,” Thackeray said.
Justifying the Sena stance, he made it clear that “nobody can shoot the gun from our shoulders” and the “Sena will not fire from someone else’s shoulders either”.
“Where were all these parties when we raked up issues concerning ‘peoples confidence’ in the government? And anyway, if we wanted to vote for the government, why should we oppose it since past over four years? I have a gun in my hand, and when the target is in sight, will fire it,” he said, serving a political warning to the BJP.
He reiterated that “the Sena always spoke up for the peoples’ interest, the poor, the farmers, the needy” and hence it remained severely and openly critical of the National Democratic Alliance at the centre and in Maharashtra where it is a partner.
The Sena leader said that his Ministers “kept a check on the government,” raised issues which were in public interest and virtually played the role of the opposition.
“We were the first to protest against demonetization which hit the poor people badly, GST, land acquisition bill, fuel prices and other matters. And, most importantly, we spoke at a time when it was even considered ‘treason’ to oppose the government,” Thackeray said.
Hitting out indirectly at BJP President Amit Shah’s ‘Chanakya-niti’, Thackeray asked whether its modern day practitioners were “doing it in the national interest or the party’s interest”.
In the nearly 8,000-word first part of the interview, Thackeray also criticized the BJP on delays in building the Thackeray memorial, reduction in the height of the Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Memorial coming up in the Arabian Sea and long-pending writing off of farm debts.
‘Mahagathbandhan’ club of ‘nawabs of negativity’: Jaitley
Mumbai: The opposition “mahagathbandhan” (grand alliance) is a club of “nawabs of negativity” and the only glue of this diverse grouping is its opposition to one man (Narendra Modi), Finance Minister Arun Jaitley said.
People of an aspirational society which is politically conscious will not buy into this “suicidal” alternative, the senior BJP leader said.
“The nawabs of negativity may come together but that is not something that will carry credibility as far as people are concerned,” Jaitley said, speaking via video link at the CNBC-TV18 India Business Leadership Awards event. During the video call, Jaitley also spoke about the Union Budget.
This was the first time Jaitley, now in the US for medical treatment, addressed a gathering since leaving the country on Tuesday.
The setback the ruling BJP suffered in Assembly elections in three heartland states recently (Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh and Rajasthan) has enthused some opposition leaders about the likely electoral success of such an alternative.
The “mahagathbandhan” has neither the ideological cohesiveness nor a common programme aimed at building the country or an individual leader, Jaitley said.
As against the BJP’s strengths of leadership, decisiveness, performance and potential, the point being put forward by the opposition is of arithmetic, Jaitley highlighted.
In politics, it is not the arithmetic but chemistry which succeeds, he added.
“The premise is that we have politics which is negative in character and the negative politics is we want one man (Narendra Modi) out. On that negativity of wanting one man out, they (Opposition) have come together,” Jaitley said.
Arun Jaitley also said there is a need to elevate the political debate in the run up to the elections and stressed that we cannot afford a “sloganised political debate” where emotional cries take over sound policy.
Without mentioning the promise of farm loan waivers, which the opposition Congress is pitching for, the minister said “sloganised policies” never help the larger interest of the economy and it is the country’s aspirations which will receive a setback in the process.
Govt compromising national security, why 36 Rafale jets instead of 126: Chidambaram
New Delhi: Senior Congress leader P Chidambaram on Friday accused the government of compromising national security and asked why it bought only 36 Rafale fighter jets instead of 126 required by the Air Force.
His comments come in the wake of fresh revelations on the Rafale deal in a media report which claimed that Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s decision to but 36 aircraft instead of the 126 asked for by the Air Force pushed the price of each jet up by 41.42 per cent.
“In the light of new facts and revelations in THE HINDU, the question gains greater urgency: why did the government buy only 36 Rafale aircraft instead of 126 aircraft required by the Air Force?,” Chidambaram asked in a tweet.
“The Government has compromised national security by denying to the Air Force the 7 squadrons (126 aircraft) that it desperately needs,” he said.
Congress leader Jyotiraditya Scindia also took to Twitter to demand answers from Modi on the increased cost of aircraft. “The PM’s unilateral decision to buy 36 Rafales resulted in a price escalation of 41.42 per cent per jet. When will the prime minister answer? he asked.
No war, but soldiers are dying on borders: Bhagwat
Nagpur: RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat said requisite steps need to combat killings on the border, as soldiers are being martyred sans a war-like situation in the country.
“In our country, there is no war at the moment, still people (soldiers) are getting martyred…Because we are not doing our jobs properly. We need to make efforts in this regard. If we want our country to reach the top, then we all should learn to sacrifice,” he said at a gathering here on Thursday.
Furthermore, Bhagwat said the responsibility of safeguarding the country should not be solely shouldered by the Forces.
“Everybody has to make efforts in this regard. This is not something for which we can give a contract to somebody. We keep thinking that the government will do it or the army will do it, the police will do it, but it’s not like that, the entire society has to make efforts,” he opined.
Citing the example of Israel, Bhagwat noted: “If one looks closely, after 70 long years, those countries in comparison with India have done better in terms of growth and development. Israel is a classic example. The natives were weed out before the 19 c. But citizens there gradually came back to their country and started their businesses, trade etc. Finally, in 1948 they got independence.”