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Sunday, May 29, 2011

Sena chief sore with Sachin

Mumbai, May 27: Shiv Sena chief Bal Thackeray today accused Indian cricketers of playing for money and made it clear he was not willing to forgive Sachin Tendulkar yet for his “Mumbai-belongs-to India…. I-am-an-Indian-first” statement of 2009.

In an interview with Times Now editor Arnab Goswami that was aired on a day three top cricketers dropped out of the West Indies tour, Thackeray also said he would not object if son Uddhav and nephew Raj decided to “patch up” in future and work together. “But will they, that’s a question?” he said.

Thackeray admitted he no longer shared the ideological connect with the BJP that he did when Atal Bihari Vajpayee was at the helm.

Asked about his criticism of Sachin in November 2009, Thackeray said he admired Sachin for his cricket. “But to say something about Mumbai, that Mumbai belongs to the country, no. We fought for Mumbai, 105 people laid (down) their lives… So I said, ‘Don’t talk about Mumbai. I said, if you say we cricketers belong to the country, yes I will accept that, play for the country,’ but they play for money.”

Continuing his attack on Sachin, Thackeray said: “If you need money for something, he will give you a bat. Then it gets auctioned, and then the money is deposited. The World Cup-winning shirt, I can sell it, auction it.” He described such auctions as a “stingy thing”.

Thackeray seemed almost reluctant to comment on the future of the Sena-BJP alliance. “In politics nobody is close to anybody. No one is close…. Alliances come and go,” he said, admitting he shared an ideological closeness 20 years ago when Vajpayee and L.K. Advani led the BJP.

The Sena boss also slammed Anna Hazare’s televised campaign for the Lok Pal Bill. “I am a political cartoonist. I know the political side of the thing. You are overpowering the other four pillars of your democracy. Your democracy, not my democracy. I don't believe in democracy. I believe in Shiv Shahi (Shivaji’s rule) and not Lok Shahi (democracy)…. You are overpowering Supreme Court, the President. Then just scrap it and wipe them out. Just keep the Lok Pal, and let the, what do you call it, Lok Pal committee decide it.”

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