In his first mega rally since the Covid-19 pandemic broke out, Chief Minister and Shiv Sena president Uddhav Thackeray attacked the BJP, stating that the party was propagating a fake version of Hindutva and misguiding the country.
“Nowadays, all parties, including one that has dawned a veil of fake Hindutva, which was with us earlier, are misleading the entire nation,” Thackeray said while addressing the Sena’s Shiv Sampark Abhiyan rally at BKC ground in Mumbai.
Blaming the BJP for distorting Hindutva ideology, he added that an illusion was being created that the BJP is the only protector and custodian of Hindutva.
The rally came in the backdrop of BJP leader Devendra Fadnavis holding a rally in Mumbai on May 1. It also comes after MNS chief Raj Thackeray held three back-to-back rallies in Mumbai, Thane and Aurangabad over the issue of removal of loudspeakers from mosques and subsequently, tried to corner Sena and attempted to show himself as the true heir of Hindutva.
The CM also took a dig at the RSS, saying it never participated in the freedom fight against the British. Alleging that the BJP was trying to mislead the country with the fake narrative of Hindutva, he reiterated that the Shiv Sena was committed to taking forward the ideas associated with Bal Thackeray’s Hindutva. He added that these ideas were based on “nationalism and not communalism”. Thackeray alleged that the Mumbai-Ahemabad bullet train project is a plot to separate Mumbai and the people of Maharashtra never asked for it.
“The Jan Sangh was there in the struggle for a united Maharashtra initially. But Thackeray family was there in the fight till the end. The Samyukta Maharashtra Samiti united everyone, but the Jana Sangh was the first to come out of the committee and since then, they have been aiming to separate Mumbai,” he claimed.
Thackeray also took on the issues of inflation, unemployment, the conflict in Kashmir and the killings of Kashmiri Pandits in the Valley. “Why don’t you speak on these issues? This is not our Hindutva. You are just trying to distract the public and the country from real issues,” he asked the Union government and the BJP.
Taking an indirect jibe at BJP leader Kirit Somaiya and Independent MLA Ravi Rana and his wife, Independent MP Navneet Rana, who have received security from the Union government, Thackeray said: “Instead of giving security to Kashmiri Pandits, the Centre is giving Z+ and Y+ securities to those who create nuisance in Mumbai.”
Referring to the killing of Kashmiri Pandit Rahul Bhat by terrorists in the Valley, he asked, “What will you (BJP) do now? Will you go and recite Hanuman Chalisa there?”
On development of Maharashtra, he said, “The BJP is not liking the way Maharashtra is progressing and developing and that’s why it is trying to portray as if there is a law and order issue in the state. They are trying to defame Maharashtra. We being patient doesn’t mean we are weak.”
“They are trying to defame and distort Maharashtra as any jilted lover does by throwing acid on the girl… They are targeting us with ED and CBI. We will not leave you if you implicate our leaders in fake cases. Befitting reply will be given and it will not be forgiven…,” the CM added.
Taking a dig at Raj Thackeray without naming him, the CM compared him to the character Munna bhai in a movie series of the same name. “…A Munna bhai here thinks of himself as Balasaheb (Shiv Sena founder Bal Thackeray) and wears a shawl… at least Munna bhai in the movie did some good deeds,” he said.
Recently, Raj Thackeray had don a saffron shawl while performing aarti of Lord Hanuman on the occasion of Hanuman Jayanti.
Alleging that the Centre was misusing central agencies, the CM said, “Nowadays, they (Centre) are behind Dawood Ibrahim, Tomorrow, if Dawood says that he will join BJP, then he might become a minister… once he joins BJP, they will say ‘Dawood is innocent’.”