Uddhav Thackeray: Have removed BJP's burden from my shoulders
At a sitting of the legislative assembly, the CM questions BJP's understanding of Savarkar's Hindutva and the need of legislating CAA
In a freewheeling reply to the allegations made against him, the Shiv Sena and Maha Vikas Aghadi, Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray said he had stopped carrying the BJP's burden and had compromised a lot to be on the CM's chair. He questioned BJP's understanding of Vinayak Damodar Savarkar's Hindutva and the need of legislating the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) instead of doing justice to the Hindus in India before hosting refugees from other countries.
"We may not fully understand Savarkar, but do you even understand him? Do you support Savarkar's views on cows? (Former Goa chief minister) Manohar Parrikar was a proponent of beef import. (Union minister) Kiren Rijuju eats beef. What do you think of this?" he asked while responding to BJP's accusations that were levelled against him while debating the governor's address to the joint sitting of the legislature.
At one point, the CM said he had so many papers to read from, but he would first respond to all the allegations. And then he made puns, snubbed BJP leaders and used a limerick (parody of the lines opposition leader Devendra Fadnavis had said on Wednesday) to convey his thoughts.
Two days back when Thackeray equated the police action on students at Jamia Millia University with the Jallianwala Bagh massacre, it prompted NCP boss Sharad Pawar to say that the Maha Vikas Aghadi government would now run steady and stable. Pawar interpreted Thackeray's statement as a much-required reaction that should keep the BJP at bay.
Thackeray said he had promised his father that Maharashtra would have a Sena CM, but he never told him that he would always be with the BJP. "If you say that I have stooped to a new low to form the government, then yes, I have done that, but remember that I have removed BJP's burden from my shoulders."
Explaining his stand on the CAA, the CM said, "You (BJP) must first do justice to the Indian Hindus and then think of the Hindus from other countries." He further said that the BJP should also think about the Marathi-speaking people in Karnataka, who want to be part of Maharashtra since 1960, the year a new state was carved out without inducting the Belgaum belt.
Since Thackeray was criticised for forging an alliance with the Congress and NCP, he chose to give the BJP in the same vein. "You created a rift between the RJD and Nitish Kumar in Bihar (for making the government). We have learnt from you. Why are you so upset with us for joining hands with the Congress and NCP?" he asked. He said his government hadn't stayed any project, but would review all the stalled ones to rectify the mistakes before they are put on track. "We speak less, but work more. Maharashtra is known as a great and prosperous state. We will have to work together to tackle a debt-burden on the state's treasury. The governor's speech spoke of the direction in which we will work."
Black day for farmers: Devendra Fadnavis
Leader of Opposition, Devendra Fadnavis said Thursday was a black day for the distressed farmers. "The CM had declared assistance of R25,000 per hectare for the farmers, but he didn't utter a word about it. This is unfortunate and the government has breached the trust of farmers," he said, before staging a walkout. "This is perhaps the first-ever speech of the CM that didn't have any mention of farmer-related issues. He also didn't say anything about Vidarbha where this session is being held," he added. Fadnavis said that Thackeray had mastered the art of keeping the Congress and NCP happy. "We walked out of the House because the issues related to the public and governance were not addressed by the CM," he concluded.
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