MNS President Raj Thackeray called his long-time friend, Bollywood superstar Salman Khan “a man without brains” over his tweets ahead Yakub Memon’s execution.
“Salman is a man without brains, while his father is a respectable man. He does not read newspapers and does not know the law and thus went on tweeting in his (Yakub’s) favour. Then there are people who sent letters to the President seeking mercy for the traitor. How can anybody question a Supreme Court order?” he asked.
In a series of tweets, Salman argued that the wrong man is being hung for the crimes of Tiger Memon. Salman wrote, “Get tiger hang him. Parade him not his brother”. He later withdrew his statements and deleted the tweets.
When asked about his visit to the actor’s residence after he was pronounced guilty in the hit-and-run case, Raj said he has very old family ties with his father Salim Khan and thus went there to be with him at the time of crisis.
The MNS president also hit out at BJP over Yakub’s execution. He alleged that the BJP-led governments at the Centre and state wanted “riots to break out in the country”.
“Yakub Memon was a terrorist but his hanging episode was converted into a drama by both the Centre and the state government. Looking into the events preceding and following the hanging of this traitor who killed so many people, I feel that both governments only wanted riots to break out in the country,” he said.
The 47-year-old firebrand leader was addressing a gathering of party supporters in adjoining Thane.
He alleged that the media was being fed with the details of Memon’s activities ahead of the July 30 hanging and the journalists, too, enthusiastically lapped them up.
“On the day of Yakub’s hanging, newspapers printed so many pictures of this traitor, while we could barely see photos of a nationalist like A P J Abdul Kalam (who was laid to rest on July 30),” he said.
Raj also trained his guns at Gujaratis living in Mumbai, saying they have gone “out of control” ever since Narendra Modi, who hails from the state, became Prime Minister.
He took a dig at Gujaratis over their predominately vegetarian food habit, seeking to know how they can discriminate among people on the basis of what they eat?
Taking a jibe at Modi, Raj said the Prime Minister does not speak on anything, he just makes declarations. “His ‘Man Ki Baat’ programme has turned into ‘Moun Ki Baat’.” Raj hailed Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis’s initiative to bring new industries in the state but insisted that Marathi youths be given employment in these units.