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Friday, January 17, 2020

War-like situation ahead of LS polls predictable: Raj Thackeray

Thackeray claimed that there would be similar attacks closer to polling day to whip up hysteria in the country to benefit the BJP.

By: Express News Service | Mumbai | Updated: March 10, 2019 9:24:58 am
Raj Thackeray, Lok Sabha polls, Pulwama terror attack, Balakot airstrike, MNS, India news, Indian Express Thackeray was addressing party workers on the 13th Foundation Day of the MNS. (File photo)

MNS CHIEF Raj Thackeray on Saturday suggested that the Pulwama terror attack, in which 40 CRPF personnel were killed last month, was carried out with the intent of helping Prime Minister Narendra Modi in the Lok Sabha elections. He claimed that there would be similar attacks closer to polling day to whip up hysteria in the country to benefit the BJP.

“Our jawans have been killed and we are told we should not ask questions. I had earlier predicted that before the 2019 elections, Narendra Modi and this government would create a war-like situation. They are so predictable. I want to ask why did this attack happen now?” Thackeray said while addressing party workers during the 13th foundation day of MNS.

He alleged that Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s behaviour after the Pulwama attack seemed like he was indifferent to what was happening in the country. “He claims that he is a fakir but to me, he seems to be more like an indifferent person,” Thackeray said.

The crux of Thackeray’s speech was directed against Modi and the BJP. Once an ardent admirer of the Modi, Thackeray, who is trying to revive the political fortunes of his party, has over the past few years been unrelenting in his criticism of the PM.

He claimed that after the airstrikes in Pakistan post Pulwama attack, the BJP leadership and the party’s social media team had gone on an overdrive to propagate a false narrative about the success of the strike.

“We have numerous figures being touted about the number of terrorists killed by BJP leaders. Let me tell you, even if 10 terrorists had been killed, Pakistan would not have sent back Wing Commander Abhinandan. Would we have sent back a Pakistani pilot if our men were killed?” Thackeray asked.

Claiming that the government was lying and trying to build a narrative to win elections, he said: “They are lying because they want to win elections. They want to use our jawans to win elections and people should recognise this conspiracy.”

Thackeray claimed that another terrorist attack would be manufactured before the Lok Sabha elections to create a conducive political environment for the BJP. “I feel that next month, before elections, another Pulwama-like attack will be manufactured. Attention will get diverted and they (BJP leaders) will start giving lessons in patriotism to everyone. They have realised that this is the only way they can cover up for their failures in governance,” he said.

Thackeray choose to keep mum on the alliance between BJP and Shiv Sena in Maharashtra. He was also non-committal on his party’s Lok Sabha plans. There has been indications that the NCP is keen on having Thackeray on board as part of a greater Opposition front against the BJP-Sena combine. “We are in talks with our own leadership and not with anyone else. I am not Prakash Ambedkar… to go hankering after others for one or two seats. I will announce my decision soon and it will be in the interest of the state,” Thackeray said.

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