Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray Sunday said the amended Citizenship Act is against the views of Hindutva ideologue V D Savarkar who sought to “bring land from the Sindhu river to Kanyakumari under one country”.
Addressing a press conference ahead of the winter session of the state legislature, Thackeray said that issues like CAB were being raised to “divert attention” of people from real issues like security of women, unemployment and farm crisis.
“Savarkar’s idea of India as one country from Sindhu river to Sindhu Mahasagar. Are you going to unite the country as Savarkar had visualised? Today, the whole country is disturbed. You are calling the Hindus from those countries (Pakistan, Afghanistan and Bangladesh) which means you are neglecting Savarkar’s thoughts,” he said.
“You have been in government for more than five years. You are making the minorities in those countries insecure. You have your prime minister. He should have told those countries not to dare touch the minorities, else they will have to face India,” he added.
On whether the state government would implement CAA, Thackeray said, “The issue is before the Supreme Court. Let the court decide whether there is anything unconstitutional about it.”
On the demand to confer Bharat Ratna on Savarkar, Thackeray said, “If they (BJP) feel we have dumped Savarkar for power, they have the power to do it. Why don’t they do it?”
“We have clarified our stand on Savarkar yesterday only. We respected him in the past, respect him in present and will continue to respect him in future too,” he added.
After Shiv Sena had supported the contentious Bill in the Lok Sabha on December 11 – a moral victory to their estranged Hindutva partners BJP, Thackeray had made it clear that his party’s support in the Rajya Sabha should not be taken for granted. And the party did a flip-flop on the issue in the Upper House by refusing to take part in the voting on the Bill.
Sources had said Thackeray had to articulate the party’s change of stand after the Congress, a partner in the Thackeray-led government in Maharashtra, expressed strong displeasure over Shiv Sena’s support to the Bill during the Lok Sabha debate on Monday.
On the issue of alleged irregularities in the project to raise a memorial to Chhatrapati Shivaji, Thackeray said, “If any corruption has happened in it, it is most reprehensible. We will punish anyone found guilty and will build the memorial with which the whole country will be proud.”
On the question of relief to farmers, Thackeray said that his government will take ” good decision as soon as possible”.
He also refuted former Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis’ charge that his government is staying all developmental projects. “Only Mumbai Metro shed project has stayed. That too because of the manner in which trees were mercilessly cut during the night,” he said.
On the financial health of the state, Thackeray said, “We have just got the key of the treasury. We haven’t yet opened it. But we will soon bring the facts before the people. “