‘Hindus are innocent’: Uddhav Thackeray’s latest swipe at BJP over Ram Mandir
Shiv Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray on Monday stuck to his words to keep up the pressure on the BJP over the Ram Temple in Ayodhya and told its alliance partner that it could not take people for a ride any longer.Updated: Dec 29, 2018 00:35 IST
Shiv Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray on Monday stuck to his words to keep up the pressure on the BJP-led national coalition over the Ram Temple in Ayodhya and demanded a discussion in parliament to see which among the coalition really oppose the temple.
Shiv Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray on Monday stuck to his words to keep up the pressure on the BJP over the Ram Temple in Ayodhya and told its alliance partner that it could not take people for a ride any longer. “It’s been 30 years and still you say that matter is in court. Hindus are innocent but not fools,” Thackeray said at a rally in western Maharashtra’s temple town of Pandharpur.
In recent weeks, Thackeray has upped the rhetoric to nudge the NDA to get the temple built at Ayodhya. Last month, he was in Ayodhya where he demanded that the BJP announce the date when the construction of the Ram temple will begin. He has since then followed up on his message, coining a new slogan for his party that underscores how building the temple, and not forming the next government, was the Shiv Sena’s first priority.
As he spoke on Monday at a public meeting in Pandharpur, home to the temple of Lord Vitthal, a popular deity for Maharashtrians, the Ram Temple was a key point in Uddhav Thackeray’s speech. But it was only the starting point.
Thackeray referred to the BJP’s recent loss in the state assembly elections where it lost power in three crucial heartland states: Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh and Chhattisgarh.
“The BJP has fallen flat in the election of five states,” he said.
“I congratulate the people of Chhattisgarh for voting out the government that they did not want, without bothering what was the alternative,” Thackeray said, referring to the Raman Singh-led BJP government’s recent defeat in the Chhattisgarh assembly elections after 15 years in power. The Congress had not named a presumptive chief minister in the three states including Chhattisgarh.
The assertion is seen in context of the BJP effort to hit out at the Congress effort to unite opposition parties, questioning who the opposition would pitch against Prime Minister Narendra Modi in next year’s general elections.
The BJP has an aliance with the Shiv Sena at the Centre and is hoping to cobble together an alliance with it in the state as well. The Shiv Sena, however, has not been pulling its punches in its criticism of the BJP. Shiv Sena leader Sanjay Raut has denied BJP chief Amit Shah’s claims of talks with the Sena for a partnership saying the party plans to contest the elections alone.
The Sena chief also criticised the government on the agrarian crisis in the state as well as the controversial Rafale deal.
In an attack on prime minister Narendra Modi, Thackeray said the PM, who travels the world, should at least visit the drought-affected areas. Thackeray declared that he will start a tour of the drought affected areas of Maharashtra from January.
Taking on the BJP-led NDA government at the Centre on the Rafale deal, Thackeray said, “The company that has no experience of building fighter jets was given the contract. The government should then give the contract of making bullets to women’s self-help groups.”