While Hindutva and droughts in the state remained the focus of Uddhav Thackeray's address aimed at the 2014 elections, the Shiv Sena president ensured that people at his first public rally in drought-hit Jalna, Marathwada, did not miss the late Sena chief, Bal Thackeray.
As soon as he
got on to the stage, Uddhav bent down to touch the ground with his head, a trademark of his father. Both, at the beginning and the end of his speech, Uddhav reiterated that he had wanted to fulfil his father's dream of defeating the state government.
"Many people say I don't sound like Balasaheb. All I want to tell them is that the people who have gathered here (Sainiks) are the unifying strength called Balasaheb and will fulfil his dream," said Uddhav.
The Sena president also played the Hindutva card by targeting the Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen (MIM) party chief, Asaduddin Owaisi, who was arrested following anti-Hindu hate speeches by him. Owaisi was to hold a rally at Aurangabad that the state home department has banned. "Who is Owaisi to threaten us? If he has so much love for Pakistan, he should move there. Till now he has not seen the power of the Sainiks and the saffron flag," said Uddhav.
He also criticised Union home minister Sushil Kumar Shinde, saying that Shinde had has the home minister of Pakistan and condemned his views on saffron terror.
Further, Uddhav said that the Union government ought to stop displaying defence equipment on January 26 republic day parade and instead use them against Pakistan. "They have beheaded our jawans, why should we be sitting ducks. If the prime minister was from Shiv Sena, we would have used them long ago," he added.
Uddhav demanded a one-day special session by the state government for the people of Marathwada, looming under severe drought. "We also want the government to waive loans of farmers, fees of students and stop charging for electricity from farmers," he said.
Uddhav even criticised people for voting back the Congress-NCP to power. "We asked you not to vote for them, but you believed their false promises. You are responsible for your own condition," he told the crowd.
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