Shiv Sena leader Uddhav Thackeray on Saturday denounced Maharashtra Chief Minister Eknath Shinde for his ‘silence’ over Governor Bhagat Singh Koshyari’s alleged insult to Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj and the border dispute with neighboring Karnataka.
Speaking at a rally in Buldhana district’s Chikhli, the former chief minister claimed that projects en route to Maharashtra had been diverted to Gujarat due to parliamentary elections in that state.
“I fear Karnataka will go to the polls next year and Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai has laid claim to Akkalkot and Solapur (in Maharashtra). Next year these two places can be handed over to Karnataka,” Thackeray claimed.
The Sena leader went on to say in a sarcastic tone that the chief minister of Maharashtra might conclude that since Prime Minister Narendra Modi has pledged to get back Pakistan-occupied Kashmir (PoK), there is no harm in handing over 40 villages to Karnataka .
Shinde also remained silent about the governor’s controversial remarks about Shivaji Maharaj, he claimed.
Thackeray claimed that nearly 1,000 farmers had committed suicide in Vidarbha in recent months and said that if he had been prime minister, he would not have allowed such suicides.
The state government should waive farmers’ electricity bills, he demanded, saying his party will assist them in ensuring they get cash for crop loan insurance.
Thackeray called the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) a “party of imports”.
“Is it a political party or a Chor Bazaar (flea market)?” he asked.
Thackeray also challenged Shinde and other rebel MLAs (who broke away from the Shiv Sena in June and toppled his government) to announce that they will never contest elections on the BJP ticket.
“These people want the names of (Bal) Thackeray and Shiv Sena along with Modi’s blessings. What is your own merit?” he said, referring to the name of the Shinde-led faction, “Balasahebanchi Shiv Sena.”
Thackeray expressed confidence in regaining lost ground on the strength of the Shiv Sena cadre.
“Will you tolerate the import party’s arbitrariness and dictatorship?” he asked the meeting.
Thackeray also said that insults against Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj and VD Savarkar will never be tolerated.
He also appealed to people to support the bandh his party intends to raise to protest against Governor Koshyari.
Koshyari has faced flak in recent days for calling Shivaji Maharaj an icon of yesteryear.
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