Sena’s ‘Chaiwala’ jibe: BJP hits back

Sena’s ‘Chaiwala’ jibe: BJP hits back

The Shiv Sena chief\'s comments, published in his party\'s mouthpiece Saamna, caused a stir on a day Maharashtra voted for a new government.

Mumbai: The BJP has taken strong exception to what it describes as an insult by former ally Uddhav Thackeray, who commented - "If a chaiwala can become prime minister, why can't I become Maharashtra chief minister?" Union minister Nitin Gadkari warned, "We have respect for everyone, but if they disrespect us we will not tolerate it." The Shiv Sena chief's comments, published in his party's mouthpiece Saamna, caused a stir on a day Maharashtra voted for a new government.
Shiv Sena President Uddhav Thackeray accompanied by wife Rashmi and son Aditya after casting their votes
It was seen as Thackeray's most obvious pitch yet for the chief minister's post. The BJP read it as a jibe at Mr Modi, whose campaign for the country's top post was built around his modest beginnings as a young boy who sold tea on trains. The BJP is contesting the polls alone after ending its 25-year alliance with the Sena after bitter wrangling over seat-sharing. The party with more seats would lay claim to the chief minister's post, and the Sena wanted it for 54-year-old Uddhav Thackeray.

The alliance had swept the national election in May, winning 42 of the state's 48 seats, and their break-up baffled many. The former allies have since traded increasingly sharp allegations and jibes.

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