Sena won’t cede Hindutva space to BJP

Mumbai: The Shiv Sena might be sharing bed with a ‘secular enemy’ but that does not mean that Uddhav Thackeray has decided to disengage from the hard-core Hindutva voter.

That should put in perspective Uddhav’s statement that Hindutva ideology is indispensable to the Shiv Sena and the party will not discard it. "I am still with the ideology of 'Hindutva' and won't ever leave it," Uddhav Thackeray told the Assembly on Sunday.

However, recently the Shiv Sena, for the first time, cited secularism in its common minimum programme.

The party has pledged to "uphold secular values" and "take a joint view" in consultation with the Congress and the NCP over contentious issues having a bearing on India's "secular fabric".

But political observers do not see in this any dichotomy; they feel the adherence to secularism stems from political exigencies while the Hindutva assertion is solely to prevent BJP from claiming it alone has proprietary rights to Hindutva. So, Uddhav’s Hindutva remark is addressed more to the BJP and less to his new found allies.

For the record, this is what the preamble of the Aghadi’s CMP says on secularism: "The alliance