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A day after he said that he did not see a "credible leader" in the country, Shiv Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray Saturday retracted a little, saying his remarks were the context of the Congress and not vis-a-vis Narendra Modi, the way the media projected them.
"I was talking about the Congress," Uddhav told a press conference. Seeking to clear the air, Uddhav said in response to question: "Why should I clarify things which I have not said? The media is also a responsible part of society. Only you people say that Uddhav has made a U-turn."
On Friday, he had said: "What this country needs is a strong government and a credible leader. Do we see anyone who is the leader of the country? We do not see anyone who can be called the leader of the nation."
Uddav said in response to a question that he conveyed his "best wishes" to Modi when he had called on him after being named the BJP campaign committee chief.
He avoided a categorical reply when asked to spell out his view on Modi's candidature for prime ministership. It was for the BJP to first take a decision and then consult its two allies, Sena and the Akali Dal, he said.
On Shiv Sena's support for Sushma Swaraj for the top job, Uddav said his father Bal Thackeray had backed her when no other leader's name was in circulation. A decision on the prime ministership, he said, "is to be taken within four walls" and suggested that he had no intention to complicate the issue.
Uddhav said the alliance with the BJP was based on the Hindutva ideology. However, he felt that issues like Ram temple were unlikely to figure prominently in the NDA campaign. "There are more important issues like food and employment concerning the common man due to the Congress misrule," he added.