Act, don’t just make empty threats. This was Shiv Sena executive president Uddhav Thackeray’s message to Congress allies Nationalist Congress Party’s Sharad Pawar and Trinamool Congress chief Mamata Banerjee who have been threatening to pull out of the UPA at the Centre.
Addressing a rally at Siddhivinayak Temple in Prabhadevi to protest the fuel price hike and restriction of subsidised cooking gas cylinders, Uddhav said, “Mamata has threatened the Congress against the FDI decision. She should stop talking and just withdraw support from the government.”
“Deputy chief minister Ajit Pawar has also spoken against the diesel hike. But the allies of the Congress, including Sharad Pawar, are just making empty threats. Don’t say things for the sake of it or you will repent it later. Withdraw support and destabilise the government,” he added.
Thackeray’s address was at the culmination of the protest, which was led by his son and Yuva Sena chief Aditya, along with senior Sena leader Manohar Joshi and others.
The protest, which started from Sena Bhavan at Dadar and culminated at Prabhadevi, saw people riding bullock carts, cycles and horse carriages to make their the point that the rising fuel prices would leave the common people with little options in the future.
Several women also participated and were seen beating steel plates with rolling pins and shouting slogans.
Playing the Hindutva card, Thackeray alleged that the government had deliberately announced the diesel hike a few days before the Ganpati festival.
“During Eid, the government wanted to feed biryani to Ajmal Kasab, Afzal Guru and Abu Jundal because they were fasting. But, Hindus, which constitute a major chunk of your voters, mean nothing to you. Why deliberately hike fuel prices when Ganpati festival is just days away?” he asked.
Speaking about Sushil Kumar Shinde’s “short public memory” remark on the coal scam, Uddhav said the Union home minister had spoken the truth. “All the protests and morchas are of no use if we don’t keep in mind the number of times the Congress has hiked fuel prices in the past seven years. But despite this, the same party still comes to power,” he said.