Mumbai: Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray Saturday warned the Bharatiya Janata Party and Maharashtra Navnirman Sena to stop their “dirty politics” or they would not be forgiven or spared.
Addressing a huge rally here, Thackeray targeted the BJP and his estranged cousin and MNS chief Raj Thackeray on a wide-range of issues including their brand of Hindutva, love for Marathi, the Centre’s pending GST dues to Maharashtra, BJP’s hurdles in various important development projects of the Maha Vikas Aghadi government, and attempts to separate Mumbai as a Union Territory.
Ridiculing BJP Leader of Opposition Devendra Fadnavis’ recent claims that he was present during the razing of the Babri Mosque in Ayodhya (1992), Thackeray asked if he had gone on a school picnic there or some sight-seeing tour. “Look at his age and how much he blabbers,” he said.
Without naming his cousin, Thackeray compared him with the character of Sanjay Dutt who gets visions of Mahatma Gandhi in the blockbuster “Lage Raoho Munnabhai” (2006).
“There’s one case roaming around wearing a shawl like Balasaheb Thackeray and claiming to see his spirit… As in the film, he is suffering from some ‘chemical locha’ and needs treatment,” Thackeray said amidst applause.
Dwelling on issues of the high inflation or unemployment, the CM and Shiv Sena President said “first they should talk about the price hike” before questioning others’ Hindutva and diverting to loudspeakers (in mosques’ or Hanuman Chalisa, both recently raised by Raj Thackeray and the MP-MLA couple of Navneet Kaur-Rana and her husband Ravi Rana.
“You couldn’t protect one Kashmiri Pandit who begged for transfer from Budgam (Kashmir) to Jammu, and terrorists barged into his government office and shot him. Do you have the guts to go and chant Hanuman Chalisa there?” Thackeray challenged the Rana couple.
He thundered at the manner in which the Centre is providing security at public expense to “nincompoops” who target the MVA government but not the Kashmiri Pandits who really need it.
Referring to the break-up between BJP-Sena in October 2019, Thackeray sharply said that “we kicked the donkey before it could kick us” but they couldn’t digest it and continued to behave like “a jilted lover”.
“Now they are accusing us of leaving Hindutva by allying with Congress and Nationalist Congress Party… Whatever we did, we did openly, not like you swearing-in the government in the early morning hours. You made all attempts to bring us down, but when you failed, you deployed central agencies after us, yet nothing happened,” he said.
It seems now they will even go after Dawood (Ibrahim Kaskar) but if he joins them, they will even take him in the cabinet, he said in another swipe at the BJP.
The CM warned the opposition parties to stop the “dirty politics by framing MVa leaders under false cases, or the people of Maharashtra will neither forgive them nor spare” them.
Pooh-poohing Fadnavis, Thackeray said that if he had really gone to Ayodhya then (1992), he could have merely tried to climb atop (the Babri mosque) would have crashed down under his weight.
He blamed Fadnavis for “blocking the Kanjurmarg land” needed for the Mumbai Metro carshed, and attacked the Centre for not handing over the railway plan to facilitate the Dharavi slum redevelopment, and asked him to go and shout in Delhi for clearing Maharashtra’s projects.
“We never asked for the Bullet Train project, but it is being forced on us… Did anybody demand it? Yet our development projects are being stalled, our GST dues are not being cleared,” said Thackeray.
He reiterated that the Sena’s Hindutva was in the heart and not by merely wearing saffron caps or threatening others, for us, Hindutva “is Ram in our mouths and ‘kaam’ (employment) in the hands”.
Failing this, he cited the example of Sri Lanka “which is now in flames for the second timea by the people who are suffering there without food and livelihood”.