Updated: December 20, 2019 4:07:20 am
Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray on Thursday took potshots at his predecessor and Leader of the Opposition Devendra Fadnavis while replying to the discussion on the Governor’s address to the legislature, saying his government was indeed like a tricycle as described by Fadnavis “since it’s a government for the poor, which can’t afford to travel by bullet train”.
Speaking in the Legislative Assembly, Thackeray quoted devotional verses of Gadgebaba and Tukdoji Maharaj, two prominent saints from Vidarbha, to counter Fadnavis, who quoted Sant Dnyaneshwar to describe the “non-functioning” three-party government led by him. “Fadnavis described our government as a tricycle. That’s true. But this is a government for the poor, who can afford only a tricycle, not bullet train,” the chief minister said.
Quoting Sant Gadgebaba, Thackeray said, “Religion isn’t something to be shown but something to live. I am going to hang his teachings in my office wall.”
Fadnavis had asked on Wednesday if Thackeray’s promise to enthrone a Shiv Sena CM in the state to his late father Balasaheb Thackeray was for a government formed along with the NCP.
Thackeray replied, “Yes, I had not given that promise but nor had I given him the promise that I would carry the palanquin of one party all my life.” To stress the point, Thackeray invoked the famous song, “Kunachya khandyavar kunache oze (Look, who is carrying whose burden)” from late Shriram Lagoo’s Marathi film Saamna.
Admitting he genuinely needs to learn economics, Thackeray said, “Fadnavis said the loan burden of MMRDA cannot be included as part of the state’s debt burden. But I understand that if MMRDA fails to repay that loan the onus shifts to the government. I know the challenge is big but we all have to come together to meet it successfully.”
“When Make in India was launched the state signed Memorandums of Understanding worth over Rs 15 lakh crore. But how much of that actually came,” he said, adding, “demonetisation and GST turned away investors”.
Thackeray said politics is a gamble and has to be played like a gamble. “But we are mixing religion with politics, which creates its own backlash,” he said.
Thackeray added, “As I have said earlier also, we haven’t changed our religion. But didn’t you also go with Ram Vilas Paswan, who had once described the BJP as Bharat Jalau Party, Chandrababu Naidu, Mamata Banerjee and Mehbooba Mufti. Similarly, we have also come together.”
Replying to Fadnavis’ “sthagiti sarkar” comment, Thackeray said, “Yes, we have stopped exams on Mahaportal, which will be cleared after removing deficiencies. But no development works have been stayed. And if there are any, we will remove the stay immediately.”
Thackeray asked Fadnavis, “Has Rs 15 lakh reached everybody’s account, had two crore jobs come to youths and if all the black money has come back to the country.”
On Veer Savarkar, Thackeray asked Fadnavis, “Do you agree with Savarkar’s views on cows? You banned beef in the state but Goa’s late Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar had assured that there won’t be any shortage of beef in the state and if necessary it would be brought from outside. Central minister Kiran Rijiju had said he will continue to be a beef eater.”
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