Shiv Sena president Uddhav Thackeray Sunday reaffirmed his commitment to Hindutva and his support to Narendra Modi as the Prime Minister of India,which he claimed was necessary to bring change in Indias polity.
This was the first time in the partys 47-year existence that the annual Dussehra rally was held in the absence of Sena founder Bal Thackeray. In some ways,it was Uddhav Thackerays show.
In the keenly watched speech in which many felt Uddhav Thackeray would make an effort to step out of his fathers shadow,he stuck to the topic of Hindutva,which has till now managed to get the party votes in elections.
Rajnath Singh called me and told me that they were announcing Modis name as the PM candidate in the evening. I told them that they should go ahead and assured him that we are behind the BJP as well as Modi. The reason we are supporting Modi is the fact that in him we see someone who can lead the country and usher in change, he said.
Thackeray said every one supporting Modi was branded communal these days and there was no one in the country who was speaking about the rights of Hindus.
Whenever we come forward and speak about the Hindus,we are called communal. Speaking about Hindutva has become a crime in the country, he said.
I had recently met the Prime Minister and told him that he must realise that he is not the PM of only Muslims but of the whole country. We are not against facilities being given to Muslims but then these should be extended to all people who are poor and such benefits should not be given on the basis of religion, he said.
Uddhav castigated Chief Minister Prithviraj Chavan who he claimed had asked Muslims to vote in large numbers if they wanted to fight communal forces.
If the CM has made such statements,I will ask my Hindu brethren to come in hordes to the polling booth. I may be accused of seeking votes in the name of religion but first a case should be filed against the CM who started this by making the statement, he said.
Uddhav also said if Sena were voted to power,Bangladesh as well as Pakistan would be made part of India.
He also criticised NCP supremo Sharad Pawar,saying the latter was swift in attacking Narendra Modi but turned a blind eye to the deeds of his nephew Ajit Pawar who indulged in rampant corruption in the irrigation sector.
There are thousands of suicides by farmers in Vidarbha but the agriculture minister is more keen on fighting MCA elections. You may have seen Pawars photos with different cricket teams but have you ever seen his picture with any farmer? Uddhav asked.
The least number of women candidates have been fielded by the Congress which has given tickets to just five women contestants.