In a communally-coloured remark, senior BJP leader Ashish Shelar on Monday (February 3) said Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray and his party, Shiv Sena, had aligned with people whose flags feature “moon and stars” on it. The crescent moon and the five-pointed star is an Islamic symbol denoting progress, light and knowledge while the tiger is widely associated as the Sena’s image.
Shelar’s remark comes as a response to an interview of Thackeray published in the Monday’s edition of Sena mouthpiece ‘Saamana’ in which the latter claimed he had not asked for the moon and stars from then-ally BJP by asking it to fulfil the “promise” of equal sharing of the chief ministerial tenure.
The BJP had refused the demand during government formation talks with the Sena post-Assembly results in October last year, after which Thackeray’s Hindutva-centred party joined hands with the ideologically-different Congress and NCP to form the Maharashtra Vikas Aghadi (MVA) government in the state.
“Promises made are supposed to be fulfilled. There is sadness and anger of breaking a promise and then I had no option. I don’t know if the BJP has recovered from the shock. What big did I ask…moon or stars? I just reminded them about what was agreed upon before Lok Sabha elections,” Thackeray told the Saamana.
Hitting back, Shelar said, “I don’t know whether he asked for the moon or not. But it seems they (Sena) are sitting with those people having flags with moon and star on it.” Shelar also said the Sena has the longest list of turncoat MLAs currently.
(With inputs from agencies)