“There is an understanding between the Congress-NCP and Shiv Sena,” Maharashtra Navnirman Sena (MNS) chief Raj Thackeray alleged at his first public meeting for the civic polls in Thane on Friday.
Referring to chief minister Prithviraj Chavan’s comment that Sena chief Bal Thackeray would become irrelevant after February 16, Thackeray said: “Why is Chavan suddenly speaking now? No one had ever heard him criticise anyone before this. He must have said this to enrage the Shiv Sainiks who would then disrupt peace in the city. The two sides could then give an impression that they are locked in a tussle… It seems this is what the state’s rulers have told them [Sena].”
On deputy chief minister Ajit Pawar’s promise of ensuring development in the city, Thackeray said, “Pawar’s party is ruling the state. Had they wished, they could have ensured change long ago.”
Playing the sons-of-the-soil card, Thackeray said, “Do not believe when the CM says that they will extend the deadline for rehabilitation of slums to the year 2000. People who have migrated from North India two months ago too have voter and Adhar cards. When they are already being given all the facilities, then why this farce?”
Thackeray also expressed his displeasure over being denied permission to hold a rally at Shivaji Park.
Pointing fingers at Shiv Sena, he said, “Shiv Sena has ruled the city for the last 20 years. But their manifesto reads the same year after year. If they have been ruling the city for so many years, why haven’t the problems been solved?”
The roads and the public transport system are never repaired as the corporators and civic bodies get commission from contractors, he alleged.
“It has almost become a tradition to close down anything belonging to the corporation, be it schools, hospitals, playgrounds or transport, and privatise it. It is sad that people have to pay money to private builders to get good playgrounds and swimming pools when it is the corporation’s responsibility to provide them free-of-cost.”