Updated: October 16, 2021 6:26:32 pm
Maharashtra Chief Minister and Shiv Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray on Friday said the BJP was behaving “like a jilted lover throwing acid on Maharashtra”, and called for a debate on Centre-state relations.
He said the threat to Hindutva was from “neo-Hindus” who have “used Hindutva to come to power but are now adopting Britishers’ divide and rule policy”.
Thackeray was speaking at the party’s annual Dussehra rally.
“What are the rights of the Centre and of the states? At the time of making the Constitution, questions were raised on the powers of the Centre and the states, asking whether the states will have to bow down to the Centre. Babasaheb Ambedkar had firmly said that like the Centre, the states too have sovereign rights and will not have to bow down to the Centre. In three scenarios such as an emergency, foreign affairs and invasion by foreign powers, the Centre has powers to interfere in state affairs,” said Thackeray.
“If the Centre interferes in the working of the state, it will be unconstitutional. Let there be an open discussion on the federal structure of the country. I want the opinions of intellectuals and constitutional experts on this issue… But if the Constitution has given us sovereign rights as the Centre, then the Centre’s daily interference should not happen and cannot be tolerated. Now the time has come for all the states in the country to decide on this,” the Shiv Sena chief added.
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Thackeray further said that Hindutva is under threat from the “neo-Hindus”. “The threat to Hindutva is not from others but from the ‘neo-Hindus’…Those who have used the ladder of Hindutva to come to power. They are now adopting the strategy of the British of divide and rule to retain power and enjoy the fruits of power,” he added.
He hit out at the BJP, alleging that they were defaming Maharashtra by showing that drugs are only caught in Maharashtra. “A picture is being painted that the drugs business is booming only in Maharashtra. It is not so that drugs are caught only in Maharashtra. The court has directed officials to probe the Mundra port where drugs worth crores of rupees were found. You merely find a pinch of ganja while my police bust drugs worth Rs 150 crore… You catch a celebrity and beat drums over it, click pictures,” said the CM.
“At a time when companies are leaving China, Maharashtra is trying to attract them and take the state forward. They (BJP) are trying to defame Maharashtra by making drug hauls and catching some celebrities just because we said no to them. They are throwing acid on us like jilted lovers. What will you achieve by defaming Maharashtra?” asked Thackeray.
Taking a dig at the BJP over the recent statements of Defence Minister Rajnath Singh on Vinayak Damodar Savarkar, the Sena chief said the BJP hasn’t understood Savarkar and Gandhi both. “We are celebrating the Amrut Mahotsav of Independence but these people were not part of the Independence movement. They must tell us what they have done for the country. It is time to ponder about what we have lost and gained in these years,” he added.
Referring to RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat’s statement that there is no addiction of power wherever Sangh refers to Hindu Rashtra, Thackeray said, “At present, they want everything from market committees to Lok Sabha to be under their control and this is a kind of addiction of power. Who will fix this? Our government will complete two years next month. Despite multiple efforts, they (BJP) failed in toppling our government. So, they are now resorting to raids to fix our leaders. This can’t go on forever.”
He asked the BJP not to hide behind central investigative agencies to target the opposition. “If you want to challenge us, then do it if you have the guts and the courage. Don’t challenge us through the ED, CBI and Income-Tax. Challenging us and then hiding behind the police is a sign of impotence,” said Thackeray. “The addiction to power is the worst where the addicts destroy the lives and homes of the opponent. This addiction must be eradicated from the country.”
Congratulating the people of West Bengal for defeating the BJP, Thackeray said, “You (Bengal) have the spirit to not bow down and we will have to keep the same spirit.”
Stating that Maharashtra is looked at from a different angle, Thackeray said, “They say democracy is being strangled in Maharashtra but is democracy blossoming in UP? They are calling the same police who fought terrorists during 26/11 as mafia. What about the UP police?”
Taking a dig at former CM Devendra Fadnavis’s remark that he still feels he is CM, Thackeray said,
“I should never feel that I am a CM. Not just me but the entire people of the state should not feel that I am the CM. The people should feel that I am a member of their family.”
“Had the BJP honoured the promise given to us and had made a Shiv Sainik a CM, I perhaps might have retired from politics,” he added.
The Sena chief urged Sainiks to come together as Marathi Manoos. “Not only Marathi Manoos, but we have to bring non-Marathis with us as well.”
Before Thackeray’s speech, a presentation of 13 minutes was shown highlighting various development works undertaken by the government during the pandemic and infrastructure development works taken up and completed in the last five years.
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