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Sena’s Uddhav Thackeray dares BJP to ‘resign’ from Maha govt, face midterm polls

The Sena chief challenged the BJP and took a dig at PM Narendra Modi for visiting his hometown in the poll-bound Gujarat.

mumbai Updated: Oct 08, 2017 23:19 IST
Press Trust of India
Press Trust of India
Press Trust of India, Mumbai
Shiv Sena,Uddhav Thackeray,Maharashtra
Shiv Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray addressing a gathering during a Dussehra rally at Shivaji park in Mumbai, on September 30, 2017. (Kunal Patil/HT Photo)

Shiv Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray on Sunday dared his party’s ruling ally BJP to “resign” from the Maharashtra government and face midterm polls.

He also slammed Prime Minister Narendra Modi over his “campaign” for upcoming Gujarat assembly polls.

“I challenge you (the BJP) to resign from the government and face polls once again. We will show you the might of the Shiv Sena. Even during the (Modi) wave, BJP got votes in the name of Sena,” Thackeray said, addressing a local poll rally in Nanded.

Nanded-Waghala Municipal Corporation (NWMC) polls are scheduled for October 11.

Taking a dig at Modi, Thackeray said people were now forwarding a joke on social media that the prime minister of India ‘may visit India soon’, apparently referring to Modi’s frequent foreign tours.

“I was watching news on television. Saw the PM campaigning for Gujarat polls that are two-months away. How did he suddenly remember his school today after being in power for three years? Did he not feel like visiting his school ever before? Why just before the polls?” he questioned.

Modi visited Vadnagar, his birth place in north Gujarat, for the first time since he became prime minister. He also visited his school.

The Sena chief further said his father late Bal Thackeray taught him to never tell a lie to people or wear a “mask” (being a hypocrite) and that he has been following it.

“You (the PM) are making an announcement that you have given a Diwali gift to the people by slashing GST rates. Come here to Nanded and visit the homes of farmers. You will know if it is Diwali or ‘Diwala’ (poverty) for them,” he said.

Modi had on Saturday said Diwali arrived early for the people, a day after the GST Council announced changes in Goods and Servics Tax, slashing rates on more than 25 products and providing relief to small and medium businesses.

However, the Sena chief said, “Farmers are burdened with debts. Now, like development, even electricity is nowhere to be seen due to a shortage of coal.”

He also asked how many rich people stood in the queues after demonetisation. “Lakhs of people lost their jobs but terrorism did not cease. Farmers lost their money kept in cooperative banks,” he said.

He asked the gathering if they would vote for a party that “ordered” lathicharge on women students in Banaras Hindu University in Uttar Pradesh, a BJP-ruled state, when they complained against eve teasing.

Thackeray further said that people voted for Nitish Kumar in Bihar for development, despite Modi’s financial package of Rs 1.25 lakh crore for the state. “What Nitish Kumar later did is another issue.”

Taking a dig at Maharashtra chief minister Devendra Fadnavis, he said that while he may speak of “invisible hands” supporting the BJP, the Sena voices its criticism openly.

“We do not know how to hide and work. We openly criticise if something is wrong. Sharad Pawar’s NCP may continue to remain the invisible hands supporting you,” he said.

He added that Fadnavis, during the Kalyan Dombivali Municipal Corporation polls, had promised a huge financial package but nobody knew what happened to his promise.

First Published: Oct 08, 2017 23:19 IST