Our Hindutva is not about clanging bells, utensils: Maharashtra CM Uddhav Thackeray attacks BJP at Sena’s Dussehra rally in MumbaiUpdated: Oct 26, 2020, 01:21 IST
Launching a blistering attack on the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) on Sunday, Shiv Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray, during his speech at his first Dussehra rally after becoming the chief minister, advised his ally-turned-foe to protect their government as the mood of the people was turning against the Centre and that people would accept any alternative to the BJP.
At the event held at Savarkar Memorial in Shivaji Park, Thackeray took on the BJP on several issues ranging from Hindutva, governance, Goods and Services Tax (GST) system, political mudslinging and personal attacks on his family and the Shiv Sena. A total of 50 people, including Thackeray family members, party ministers, leaders, MPs, legislators were present.
“If your foundation stone has weakened, you have no culture, thoughts… nothing, then such a government will not last long. I again challenge you to topple our government, but first protect your government. Because one day, people will look beyond you and say anybody will be fine, but not you. This thought has already started,” Thackeray said.
“World over, the economy is disrupted and during such a time, if the BJP is interested in toppling governments instead of paying attention to the country’s economy, then I think, we are inviting anarchy…”
Thackeray slammed the BJP for questioning the Shiv Sena’s Hindutva. He said his father Balasaheb Thackeray’s Hindutva was not “clanging bells and utensils”.
Thackeray’s sharp comment came after a standoff with Maharashtra Governor Bhagat Singh Koshyari, who questioned the chief minister’s stance on ‘Hindutva’ after he did not allow the reopening of religious places in the state.
Thackeray quoted Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh chief Mohan Bhagwat’s speech on Sunday morning in Nagpur and in an indirect reference to Koshyari said that the RSS chief’s followers do not understand the meaning of Hindutva. “Those who wear black caps on their head agree with what the Bhagwat has said about Hindutva in his speech or not… RSS chief said there are people who are creating doubts on Hindu, Hindutva and Hindu Rashtra. Who are these people? Do you know? Where do they live? ‘Hindutva this term has been made narrow by associating it with pooja’. Why don’t you reopen the temples? Have you abandoned Hindutva, become secular… Our Hindutva is not narrow, is comprehensive,” he said.
Thackeray and Koshyari were at loggerheads recently over opening of temples through exchange of letters between them over the issue. The governor had questioned if Thackeray had turned ‘secular’ and it had stirred controversy after the letter got public. “They say my Hindutva is different from that of Balasaheb Thackeray. Your Hindutva is about clanging bells and utensils, our Hindutva is not like that. Those questioning our Hindutva now were hiding with tail between their legs when Babri mosque was demolished,” said Thackeray, referring to tasks given by PM Modi during the lockdown.
Referring to actor Kangana Ranaut’s remarks comparing Mumbai to Pakistan Occupied Kashmir, Thackeray said those who come to Mumbai for livelihood are abusing Mumbai by comparing it with PoK. “You are able to put your foot in PoK. But, if a PoK is being created in a country that is ruled by Modi, then it is the failure of PM and is not of the state,” he said.
Thackeray asked PM Modi to accept the failure of the goods and services tax (GST) system and rectify it and appealed to chief ministers of all other States to get together and revert to old taxation system if new tax system cannot be rectified. The Centre owes ₹38,000 crore in GST compensation dues to Maharashtra. “We are not getting our rightful GST dues and everyone (other non-BJP state governments) is complaining about it. The country is not a property that belongs to one political party.”
Thackeray backed the Mumbai Police and said it would have found out if there was any wrongdoing in the suicide of actor Sushant Singh Rajput, without naming the actor. On the portrayal of the lawlessness in the state and use of drugs, Thackeray said he is proud of Mumbai and Maharashtra Police as it is the only force that has caught a terrorist alive. “He might have become Bihar’s son suddenly, but you started mudslinging on Maharashtra’s sons? On Maharashtra government, Thackeray family and on Aaditya [Thackeray]... You cannot do anything as we are clean,” said Thackeray, on the conspiracy theories following the actor’s death by suicide.
Targeting the BJP for promising free Covid-19 vaccination in election manifesto in Bihar, Thackeray said, “You are talking about giving free vaccines in Bihar. Is the rest of the country Pakistan or Bangladesh or Kazakistan? Those speaking like that should be ashamed of themselves. You are the central government.”
Thackeray also asked if BJP has turned secular by allying with Nitish Kumar or has the latter turned pro-Hindutva.
“We expected that Uddhav Thackeray will speak about his government’s performance in last one year, but he spent his entire speech criticizing central government and the BJP. He does not have anything to narrate even before his party workers,” said Keshav Upadhye, chief spokesperson, Maharashtra BJP, said in a series of tweets.