BJP, MNS hit back at Thackeray, say he is speaking out of ‘frustration’
In his first public address after the vertical split in the party, Thackeray on Wednesday accused the BJP and the Eknath Shinde faction MLAs of treating Mumbai like a piece of lucrative real estate
Mumbai: A day after Uddhav Thackeray’s no-holds-barred attack, the Bharatiya Janata Party hit back saying that the Sena chief and former chief minister spoke out of “frustration” with deputy CM Devendra Fadnavis claiming that the previous Maharashtra Vikas Aghadi (MVA) government tried to “finish him” politically during its 31-month stint.
In his first public address after the vertical split in the party, Thackeray on Wednesday accused the BJP and the Eknath Shinde faction MLAs of treating Mumbai like a piece of lucrative real estate. “These vultures are moving in for the kill. They want to capture Mumbai. They are hovering over Mumbai to grab the spoils,” he said to a packed crowd of over 25,000 Shiv Sainiks in Goregaon.
Thackeray also dared Union home minister Amit Shah to trounce the Sena in Mumbai and said that the forthcoming civic elections in Mumbai would be Fadnavis’s last poll. He also took a dig at cousin and Maharashtra Navnirman Sena (MNS) chief Raj Thackeray for hobnobbing with the BJP.
“He (Thackeray) tried his level best along with the Congress and NCP. But you could not finish me and won’t be able to do it ever,” Fadnavis, who was in Nagpur on Thursday, said.
“In 2019 state polls, you came (to power) by showing Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s photo only to backstab the BJP and then joined hands with the Congress and NCP. We got elected legitimately. Why did he and his party, which won in alliance with us, not resign before joining hands with the Congress, NCP? You should have had the courage to get re-elected and then go with the Congress-NCP,” Fadnavis said.
“What Thackeray has been saying is out shere frustration. They may wish to finish me politically, but that hardly matters…. The three MVA parties tried tooth and nail to finish me politically in their stint of 31-months, but they could not,” he added.
Fadnavis also lashed out at Thackeray for his suggestion that the BJP and Shinde’s faction of Sena should resign and face fresh civic and Assembly polls “within a month”.
“Thackeray does not walk the talk. He had vowed from the same venue a few years ago to not join hands with any other party, but bowed before Congress and NCP for power. He has been criticizing Shinde, but the CM has been working hard for the welfare of the state,” Shiv Sena’s rebel faction’s spokesperson Kiran Pawaskar said.
“These people are parasites who survive on the legacy of (late Shiv Sena supremo) Balasaheb (Thackeray). They lack their own talent,” MNS general secretary Sandeep Deshpande said.
Referring to the Shiv Sena’s decision to keep senior leader and Rajya Sabha MP Sanjay Raut’s chair vacant at Wednesday’s rally in a show of solidarity, Deshpande claimed that more chairs will need to be kept vacant if Sena leaders faced the brunt of investigating agencies. Raut has been arrested by the Enforcement Directorate (ED) in an case of alleged money laundering. “They have made a lot of money in the past two-and-half years and also in the BMC over the last 25 years. One day, this will surface, and when that happens, many chairs will remain vacant,” he said.
“The MNS can only give such statements. Yesterday’s (Wednesday) crowd proves that the grassroots Shiv Sainiks are with us. The huge turnout has led to the ground beneath the feet of some slipping away and hence they are making such comments,” Sena leader and former minister Anil Parab said.