A day after Maharashtra minister Chandrakant Patil said not a single Shiv Sena worker was involved in the Babri Masjid demolition, Shiv Sena (UBT) leader Uddhav Thackeray said Chief Minister Eknath Shinde should either step down or seek Patil’s resignation over his remarks.
When the mosque was being brought down, rats were hiding in their burrows, Thackeray said addressing a press conference here on Tuesday.
The former CM said his party’s Hindutva is “nationalism” and the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) should explain what is its Hindutva.
“When Babri was being demolished, all rats were hiding in their burrows,” he said.
Thackeray said either CM Shinde should resign over Patil’s remarks or seek the latter’s resignation.
Senior BJP leader Patil, who is the minister of higher and technical education in the Eknath Shinde government, on Monday said not a single worker of the Shiv Sena was near the Babri Masjid in Ayodhya when it was brought down by the Bajrang Dal and Durga Vahini on December 6, 1992.
Incidentally, Shiv Sena founder late Bal Thackeray has often been quoted as saying he was proud if any of his Sainiks took part in the demolition of the disputed structure.
Patil on Monday said Shiv Sena (UBT) Rajya Sabha MP Sanjay Raut keeps talking about the Babri Masjid demolition, and wondered if the latter was even there at the temple town in Uttar Pradesh at the time.
He also took a swipe at Uddhav Thackeray for accusing CM Shinde of stealing the legacy of Bal Thackeray.
The late Shiv Sena founder was not the property of anyone and was someone who was hugely respected by the people, Patil said.
“Balasaheb is the property of all Hindus and everyone is free to use his name (legacy),” the BJP leader had said.
The Shiv Sena split after a rebellion in June last year by Shinde, who got the party name and ‘bow and arrow’ symbol, while Uddhav Thackeray’s faction was christened Shiv Sena (UBT) with a flaming torch as its symbol.