Mumbai: Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) state unit president Chandrakantdada Patil, while speaking to The Free Press Journal, charged that Uddhav lacked the skills to be a chief minister and slammed the Maha Vikas Aghadi (MVA) government’s handling of the coronavirus pandemic.
Patil also accused the National Congress Party (NCP) chief Sharad Pawar of minority appeasement of questioning if the ground-breaking for the Ram Temple will eradicate coronavirus. He indicated that the disgruntled senior BJP leader Eknath Khadse may have to be content with a sinecure as a ‘margadarshak,’ and warned that the Shiv Sena’s criticism of the party made the possibility of future reconciliation tough.
Q: How would you assess Uddhav Thackeray’s leadership?
A: He is a good karyakararta (worker), but as the chief minister, lacks experience and has zero grip on the administration. To learn the ropes, he must go to the field to impose his writ, but that has not happened. Doctors, nurses, and the police have been asked to be in the field during the coronavirus pandemic, but if you work in the field as a chief minister, this motivates others. He sits in Matoshree and guides people. Uddhavji lacks the skills required to be a chief minister.
Q: NCP chief Sharad Pawar has questioned if building the Ram Temple will eradicate coronavirus...
A: Did (Prime Minister Narendra) Modi claim that the Ram Mandir will eradicate Corona? He is doing everything to conquer it. The Maharashtra government did not announce a penny in packages, but the Modi regime gave subsidized grain and monthly doles to the poor. Modi has done everything to provide relief to people and is conducting the shilanyas of the Ram Temple based on the Court’s decision. He will not conduct rituals for three days, but attend the program for just 15 minutes. The guest list is limited to just 300 and social distancing norms will be followed. Pawar is comparing two different things. Where does his problem lie, Ram Mandir or Corona?
Q: Senior BJP leaders Eknath Khadse and Pankaja Munde have not been given any senior position in your state executive.
A: After a certain stage, people become so senior that there is no position worth their stature in Maharashtra. Can Nathabhau (Eknath) Khadse be made the state unit vice-president? He is too senior. Such people are accommodated as special invitees to the executive. The same holds true for Pankajatai as she has held all positions in Maharashtra. She is a part of the core committee, which tops the hierarchy. At a certain stage, there are no responsibilities that suit an individual, and it is expected that they must work as margadarshaks. Coming to Pankajatai, she has expressed the desire to work at the Centre.
Q: Can Khadse be considered for electoral posts or have to be content only as a margadarshak?
A: Who can foresee the future? But in the BJP, after a certain stage, a senior worker is expected to serve as a margadarshak. There is a precedent for this, where people say they have taken all major responsibilities, and hence, they will attend meetings, guide others, and make suggestions. Something may arise from this in the future.
Q: BJP leaders claim they can destabilise the government…
A: Have we ever claimed this in public? Why are they (MVA) running scared? This is because they are paranoid.
Q: BJP and the Shiv Sena are natural allies. Can they come together in the future?
A: Don’t know, but in politics, equations change in a night. But today, this situation does not exist. The Shiv Sena has reached the extreme end, and it is tough for it to return to its original point from there. After all, to reunify, it is necessary to be careful in matters of words and behavior. But these protocols have not been followed in the past six to seven months. Coming together after this is not so easy.
Q: What about the NCP? You were part of a short-lived arrangement…
A: There is no reason. Sharad Pawar has linked the Ram Mandir bhoomipoojan just to Corona to appease a particular community. We have never done this and believe in a national agenda. Hence, this combination will not work.Shashi Tharoor endorses article which states that people who are buried have 'greater claim to matrubhumi'
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