To counter BJP, rivals target ‘outsider’ PM

In Marathwada, the MNS chief cited the example of a Maharashtrian industrial who went to Himachal Pradesh to set up an industry.

Written by Shubhangi Khapre | Mumbai | Updated: October 5, 2014 4:04 am

The echoes of Marathi asmita (pride) are getting shriller as the Congress, NCP, Shiv Sena and MNS decide to intensify their campaign against “outsider” Narendra Modi. With the Assembly elections for 288 seats in Maharashtra centred around the “insider versus outsider” rhetoric yet again, parties opposing the BJP have decided to train guns at the prime minister.

In poll meetings, most top leaders – NCP president Sharad Pawar, former CM and Congress leader Prithviraj Chavan, senior Congress leader Narayan Rane, MNS president Raj Thackeray and Shiv Sena president Uddhav Thackeray – have taken a decision to target Modi since he does not belong to the state.

The PM, who arrived in the state Saturday, will hold 23 public rallies between October 4 and October 10 across western Maharashtra, Marathwada, Konkan, north Maharashtra and Vidarbha.

A political manager from the Congress said, “The BJP has made Modi its mascot and star campaigner. We will definitely attack him to counter his aggressive campaign.”

A senior Sena MP confided, “We have to assert ourselves by stepping up the attack on Modi. We have to keep hammering that Modi did nothing to save the Sena-BJP alliance. We won’t launch personal attacks, but we will drive home the alliance point. This would help us to consolidate our base among the sons of the soil.”

The MNS leadership is also keeping the “Marathi manoos” issue alive. Party president Raj Thackeray Saturday stoked the debate when he said that the state’s interests would be best served by leaders from Maharashtra.

However, unlike in the past when Shiv Sena and MNS attacked people from north Indian – especially Uttar Pradesh and Bihar – the aggression this time would be focused on Modi.

In separate rallies on Saturday, top leadership of the Congress, NCP, Sena and MNS exhorted people to guard their “Marathi asmita” and warned against “outsiders” who try and tell the state how to move ahead.

Urging farmers to ensure that their rights are protected, Pawar Saturday suggested that the state’s welfare should be left to those who have served them for the past 15 years.

In Vidarbha, Uddhav took on Modi and the BJP, warning people against “trespassers” and saying, “It’s my responsibility to look after your welfare in Maharashtra. I will provide you education, health and houses. I will look after your interests in employment.”

He added, “Every individual should guard himself against intruders on the home turf.” In a veiled suggestion that Modi puts the interest of Gujarat ahead of others, he said, “The PM never belongs of any state. The PM should belong to the entire nation.”

In Marathwada, the MNS chief cited the example of a Maharashtrian industrial who went to Himachal Pradesh to set up an industry.

“The government in HP set defined guidelines wherein it was mandatory that employment would be from the local region as determined by the state. Look how their leaders protect the interest of their bhoomiputra (sons of the soil). Here, everybody looks at state as a milking cow.”

State BJP president Devendra Fadnavis said, “Every party has the right to decide what they should say during elections. But people are sensible and they know Modi is sincerely working for the development of India. And Modiji is committed to the development and welfare of Maharashtra.”

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  1. Narottam Swami
    Oct 5, 2014 at 4:26 am
    All party leaders sorry to say including PM trying to bifurcate politics on the lines of marathi mh onthe one hand and hindu muslim divide backward forward on the other hand .For the first time PM is stressing the formation of govts in line with the party in power in the center which is most dangerous looking to the federal character of the country.Ihad heard during my student days the lecture of Nehruji in an election campaign meeting during his one hour lecture he narrated national inter national trends he did not even mention the name of his party candidate and concluded his speech by commenting that elect the right candidate irrespective of his party affiliation.Now this fundamental prinl of righteous ness have lost sight of these power seeker leaders at any cost.
    1. N
      Oct 7, 2014 at 12:18 pm
      This resentment against Delhi is not only in Maharashtra or Marathi People but all those whose mother tongue is not Hindi.This has roots in non-implementation' of 'Three Language Formula' in schools of Hindi-speaking states. (accepted by all states way back in 1967)This formula was result of solution to 'anti-hindi agitations'If implemented this means in Hindi-speaking states apart from Hindi and English, one school would have Marathi as third language-subject, another would have Tamil, another would have Bengali etc. There could be practical difficulty in implementing and there could be solutions to it but Hindi-speaking states never tried to implement. In response Tamilnadu never introduced Hindi as third language-subject in schools, while other states like Bengal, Odisha, Andhra implemented halfheartedly.Only Maharashtra, Gujarat, Punjab etc. applied this formula and introduced Hindi as third language from fifth standard onwards. However Marathi, Gujarati, Punjabi were never accepted in Hindi-Speaking states.This is seen as 'Arrogance of Hindi people' by others. think now Hindi-Speaking states (and others who have not implemented) should implement 'Three Language Formula' in schools. Now there is no dearth of teachers in Indian languages. Every school can select from plethora of options among Indian Language.Remember Hindi is not accepted as 'National Language' by consution.Either all languages are 'National' or all are 'Regional' (including Hindi)Implementation of 'Three Language Formula' will go a long way in national integration.