Addressing his first rally after the state election commission announced the dates for the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) elections, Shiv Sena president Uddhav Thackeray trained his guns on former ally, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), with whom he had broken ties last month.
Uddhav said chief minister Devendra Fadnavis’ only agenda was to finish off the Shiv Sena.
“The chief minister has no time for governing as he is only bothered with trying to destroy the Sena. Generations will come and go, but the Sena will remain strong as before,” Uddhav said at the rally at Girgaum.
“History has shown that those who intended to finish the Sena or the family of Bal Thackeray have been vanquished,” he added.
He also taunted BJP national president Amit Shah, who called the electoral fight between the two allies a friendly match. “This is not a friendly match and for the Sena, it is a fight for existence,” said Uddhav.
Uddhav called the economic survey report released by the central government, where it rated the BMC the most transparent civic body in India, a slap on the face of the BJP. “The BJP-led central government endorses us for running the BMC in a transparent manner. Now, what will you accuse us of? questioned Uddhav. He also taunted the BJP for not being able to release its manifesto for the February 21 elections. “They are still asking for suggestions from the citizens. This only shows they are hardly aware of the problems facing the city. All they do is to praise the state and central government schemes,” he added.
Last week, stung by Uddhav’s decision to break the alliance, Fadnavis reacted by calling Sena a party of extortionists, whose dominance across Mumbai for the past 25 years was a huge loss to the megapolis. He blamed the Sena for not coming on board as the BJP wanted it to adopt a transparency agenda and promise to change corrupt practices. He also drew a parallel to the epic Mahabharat, equating the battle for the country’s richest civic body to the “Dharmayudh”, and Uddhav to Duryodhana, whose many advisors, like the wily “Shakuni mama”, had jinxed the alliance for the upcoming polls.
Sena and BJP were partners in corruption: Pawar
The Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) president Sharad Pawar on Saturday held the Shiv Sena and BJP responsible for corruption in the Mumbai civic body. Pawar said both are guilty for rampant corruption in BMC and do not deserve another chance to rule the civic body.
“Fadnavis is nowadays pointing out towards rampant corruption in the BMC, but you (BJP) were also sharing power with them since the past 25 years. Both (Sena-BJP) were partners in crime. We need to teach them a lesson by not electing them back to the BMC,” Pawar said, at his first rally, at Mankhurd, after the dates were announced.
The former union minister attacked BJP for allegedly allowing criminals into its fold. “The BJP has installed a machine through which people having criminal records comes out clean,” Pawar taunted the ruling party and Fadnavis who had recently been in a spot of bother after his photograph with a Pune gangster went viral. Pawar urged people to vote for NCP and assured them of best services by citing the example of the Navi Mumbai Municipal Corporation, which is ruled by the NCP.