During his rally at BKC, Shiv Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray launched scathing attacks on the BJP; he said his former ally has no grassroots workers in the state and asserted he has support from various communities
Shiv Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray chose to aim his last campaign salvos primarily against former ally BJP while addressing party workers and supporters at the MMRDA ground in Bandra-Kurla Complex yesterday.
“We will not bow before Delhi. Shivaji Maharaj has taught us not to bow before Delhi, and we will not do so,” said a defiant Thackeray. “I will bow only in front of God, my mother and Balasaheb, not in front of anyone else,” he added. The leader also trained his guns on BJP’s presence in Maharashtra, saying it had no grassroots support in the state.
Shiv Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray at MMRDA ground, BKC, yesterday. Pic/Sayyed Sameer Abedi
“People are being brought in from Gujarat for their rallies,” he said. He further claimed to have the support of the Varkari and Sikh community. “It was Balasaheb and Shiv Sena who stood by the Sikhs in their bad times.
Even Gujarati people told me they voted for BJP only in the Lok Sabha, and but that Shiv Sena is needed in Maharashtra,” he claimed. The Gujaratis, however, had been at the receiving end of attacks from the Sena in the 60s.
Thackeray also criticised the BJP for breaking the alliance and ‘backstabbing them’. “Our alliance with BJP was on the lines of Hindutva, and Shiv Sena stood by their (BJP’s) side through thick and thin. Had Atalji been looking after affairs, this wouldn’t have happened. He knew the importance of going together.”
He also countered the BJP’s preference for smaller states, saying he would never let Vidarbha be carved out of Maharashtra. However, he added that he would bring Belgaum back into the state. “First go and get Pakistan-occupied Kashmir, the Indian land occupied by China, instead of breaking Maharashtra,” he taunted.
‘Throw them out’
Thackeray also criticised former CM Prithviraj Chavan and the Congress-NCP coalition government led by him, “He was not at all a good CM. People in remote villages are facing water scarcity, but no one is concerned at all. (Deputy CM) Ajit Pawar is also the same and we need to throw these people out.”
Commenting on ex-Home Minister R R Patil’s controversial comments regarding the alleged rape case by an MNS candidate, Thackeray stated, “People like R R Patil should be thrown out.
Their comments prove their upbringing was not good.” Republican Party of India leader Arjun Dangle also showed his support for the Sena, saying the Dalit community would stand by the Sena, subverting his party chief Ramdas Athawale’s allegiance to the BJP.