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‘After Nehru, Modi to be PM for third time,' says Raj Thackeray

Updated on: 18 May,2024 07:16 AM IST  |  Mumbai
Ranjeet Jadhav |

Raj praises Modi’s tenure, presents demands for state’s development

‘After Nehru, Modi to be PM for third time,' says Raj Thackeray

CM Eknath Shinde, PM Narendra Modi, MNS chief Raj Thackeray and DyCM Devendra Fadnavis share the stage. Pic/Rane Ashish

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‘After Nehru, Modi to be PM for third time,' says Raj Thackeray

Shivaji Park, known as Shiv Tirth, has long been a significant venue for Maharashtra politics, hosting numerous political rallies. On Friday, the park witnessed a historic event as Prime Minister Narendra Modi and MNS chief Raj Thackeray shared the stage in front of a massive crowd. During his speech, Raj Thackeray praised the prime minister for the development achieved during his tenure and presented a series of demands for Mumbai and Maharashtra. These included completing the Mumbai-Goa highway, granting classical language status to Marathi, improving funding and railway infrastructure for Mumbai, and restoring the forts of Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj.

As Modi campaigned for BJP and Mahayuti candidates in Mumbai, crowds from Dadar flocked to Shivaji Park. The rally took place just a few hundred metres from the Shiv Sena Bhavan, the headquarters of the once-unified Shiv Sena. Many were eager to hear Raj, especially with upcoming elections for Mumbai's six Lok Sabha constituencies, even though his party is not contesting any seats.

Raj invokes Nehru

Raj began his speech by invoking the name of the late Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru. “After Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru, Narendra Modi would be the second person to become the PM for the third time.”

He criticised his cousin, Shiv Sena (UBT) chief Uddhav Thackeray, NCP Sharad Pawar faction chief Sharad Pawar, and other leaders in INDIA bloc. “The speakers in the rally who addressed the crowd before me, wasted their time by speaking on Uddhav Thackeray, Sharad Pawar, and others. Modi is only going to become the PM of our country once again.”

Raj also emphasised his appreciation for the Ram Mandir project. “I never thought that Ram Mandir would be constructed, and I congratulate PM Modi for its construction.” He then commended Modi for abrogating Article 370 and enacting a law against triple talaq.

Raj even took a dig at the Owaisi brothers-led AIMIM. “The PM should ask the military to conduct search operations in areas known to have strong support for these people. Once and for all, the PM should free citizens from these issues so that our sisters and mothers can step out onto the roads without any fear from such people and their supporters.”

Raj’s demands

He outlined a series of demands for Maharashtra. “I have certain expectations from the PM for the next five years for Maharashtra. I want the PM to help the Marathi language be given classical language status. We were ruled by invaders for centuries, but there was also a time when Marathas ruled for 100 years, and I would request you that our rich Maratha history should be taught in schools across the country. I am not aware when the memorial of Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj would be constructed in the Arabian sea, but I would request you to form an international committee to work for the restoration and maintenance of our rich forts in Maharashtra.”

Raj highlighted the poor condition of the Mumbai-Goa highway. "Under your leadership, the country has seen good roads being built across the country, and we want the construction of the Mumbai-Goa highway to be completed. We would request you to also help us in improving the railway network and related activities in Mumbai,” added Raj.

He also addressed concerns about the Constitution. “The Opposition is saying that the Constitution will be changed. I think you should silence the critics by speaking on this issue today,” he said.

The rally ground was filled with people chanting “Abki baar 400 paar” while waving BJP and MNS flags. A notable feature of the event was the significant turnout of women. Supporters from the BJP, Sena’s Eknath Shinde faction, NCP's Ajit Pawar faction, and MNS gathered not only from Mumbai and the metropolitan region but from all over Maharashtra to participate in the rally. 

MNS supporters were particularly vocal, shouting slogans praising their leader as the “Hindu Jananayak”. 


Amar Shah, BJP office-bearer
“The response to the rally of Modi-ji clearly proves that people are with him and BJP will get more than 400 seats. In Mumbai, BJP and our alliance partners will win all six seats because the BJP-NDA government has helped in the completion of several infrastructure projects in Mumbai and adjoining areas. We are happy that Raj Thackeray has given support to Modi-ji and BJP because today’s rally will only increase our power in Mumbai and Maharashtra.”

Rahul Pawar, MNS worker 
 “People might be criticising Raj Saheb for his unconditional support to BJP but the fact is that it is for making our country strong and helping in development.”

Sanjay Randive,Shiv Sena supporter from Wadala 
“We are happy about the fact that Raj Saheb has come with us because his support to BJP and NDA will only help in winning more seats. We are confident that BJP and Mahayuti candidates will win maximum seats in Mumbai and Maharashtra.”

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