Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray on Sunday dared the Bharatiya Janata Party to try and topple his “three-wheeler” government, News18 reported. The Shiv Sena chief said he and his alliance partners – the Nationalist Congress Party and the Congress – are positive about the future of their Maha Vikas Aghadi government.
The ruling Shiv Sena-Nationalist Congress Party-Congress coalition, collectively known as the Maha Vikas Aghadi, was formed after former allies Bharatiya Janata Party and the Shiv Sena could not reach a power-sharing agreement following the elections in October last year.
“The future of my government is not in the hands of the Opposition,” Thackeray said in the second and last part of his interview published in Shiv Sena mouthpiece Saamana. “The steering wheel is in my hands...the two others are sitting behind”
The Shiv Sena chief also criticised the Bharatiya Janata Party for its alleged attempts to topple the Congress-led government in Rajasthan, according to the Hindustan Times. However, he added that the “Operation Lotus would not reap any success” in Maharashtra.
“You say the MVA government is formed against the democratic principles but when you topple it, is it a democracy?” Thackeray asked. The chief minister added that the Bharatiya Janata Party “gets a pleasure out of toppling governments” that are ruled by Opposition parties. “Some people derive pleasure in constructive work while some are happy in destruction,” he said. “If you feel happy in destruction, go ahead.”
Responding to a question related to the Opposition’s criticism that his government was a “three-wheeled vehicle”, Thackeray said his Maha Vikas Aghadi government represented “the poor people”. “The ones who have been raising questions about our ‘three-wheeler’ should look at the government at the Centre,” he added. “How many parties are there as coalition partners? When I attended the NDA [National Democratic Alliance] meeting last time, there were 30 to 35 leaders representing ruling parties. It should be called a ‘train’ government then.”
At an Assembly session in Nagpur last year, Leader of Opposition Devendra Fadnavis had mocked Thackeray’s three-party government in Maharashtra by comparing it with a three-wheeled auto-rickshaw and had raised doubts about its stability.
The chief minister also took a critical position on the Centre’s ambitious Mumbai-Ahmedabad bullet train project, saying he would rather prefer such a high speed link between the state capital and Nagpur. He added that if he were to choose between a bullet train and a three-wheeler, he would choose the latter as it is the “travelling mode of the poor people”.