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Traitors conspired against me at my vulnerable state; leaving BJP does not mean leaving Hindutva: Uddhav Thackeray

Uddhav Thackeray, while addressing Shiv Sena cadre at the annual Dussehra rally, launched a scathing attack on the BJP, once again questioning its version of Hindutva, and stated that the idea of democracy was under threat under the dispensation at the Centre.

Shiv Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray’s rally at Shivaji Park. (Express photo by Ganesh Shiresekar)

Addressing his much-anticipated Dussehra rally, Shiv Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray on Wednesday, without naming the Maharashtra Chief Minister, labelled the Eknath Shinde-led Shiv Sena faction as traitors, accusing them of conspiring against him when he was at his “most vulnerable physical state after suffering a debilitating illness”.

The former Chief Minister, while addressing his party cadre at the annual rally, launched a scathing attack on the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), once again questioning its version of Hindutva, and stated that the idea of democracy was under threat under the dispensation at the Centre.

“Breaking the alliance with the BJP does not mean that we have left the fold and ideology of Hindutva. I do not need to learn Hindutva from a party whose leaders have bowed their heads at the tomb of Jinnah and went uninvited to Pakistan to meet Nawaz Sharif,” Thackeray said during his 45-minute address to party workers at Shivaji Park, which was packed to capacity with Shiv Sainiks who had come to the state capital from across the state.

Taking on the Central government, Thackeray said, “There is a genuine worry on whether democracy in this country can stay alive. This is a warning call for all citizens. There is a genuine fear that we, as a country, may get pushed into servitude. There is a need for all patriots to unite.”

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The Sena chief said the BJP was trying to cover up its shortcoming in ruling the country by evoking its version of Hindutva. “You (the BJP) speak about the cow, but why don’t you speak about the rising inflation in the country? Speak about it as well. But just to divert the attention of people, they speak about Hindutva,” Thackeray said.

CM Eknath Shinde on the Dussehra rally stage at BKC’s MMRDA grounds. (Source: Youtube/EknathShinde)

Thackeray also took a swipe at Union Home Minister Amit Shah and said that he was busy conspiring in toppling the governments in states ruled by Opposition parties instead of concentrating on the work assigned to a country’s Home Minister.

In the Ankita Bhandari murder case, the resort where it happened belonged to a BJP leader. In the Bilkis Bano case, sentences of the convicts were waived. These are the values of the BJP

“Instead of fulfilling his duties as the Home Minister, his task these days is visiting states ruled by the Opposition and toppling the governments there,” Thackeray said.

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He further challenged Shah to “bring back the land which has been occupied by Pakistan and China” instead of making statements of “showing Shiv Sena its place”, alluding to a recent remark made by Shah to BJP members during his visit to Mumbai.

“You came here and said you will show us the ground. We are on the ground only. But I challenge you to retrieve the ground that we have lost to Pakistan in the form of Pakistan Occupied Kashmir as well as China. Do something about that first,” Thackeray said.

He also took a swipe at the BJP over RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat’s statement that there was a need to empower women.

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“In the Ankita Bhandari murder case in Uttarakhand, the resort where it happened belonged to a BJP leader. In the Bilkis Bano case, men who raped her and killed her small child, men who were convicted, their sentences were waived off. These men were felicitated and welcomed. These are the values of the BJP,” Thackeray said.

While the focus of Thackeray’s speech was targeting the BJP, he also took a swipe at the Sena’s breakaway faction, stating that they were traitors and would have to live with the “ignominy of being called traitors for the rest of their lives”.

He said, “They are traitors only.. even if they have posts of ministers now, it won’t be the case for a long time.. but their identity of being traitors will be theirs forever and cannot be wiped out ever.” Thackeray further said, “They are duplicates and fake. They think that they have become Balasaheb themselves..”

Without referring to Shinde by name, Thackeray said he was betrayed by people whom he had confided in. “I feel sad about only one thing. I had given responsibility for handling the affairs of the party(during the Maharashtra Vikas Aghadi [MVA] government) to an individual. But when I was in hospital and in a vulnerable state, the same person was conspiring to break the party and finish me off forever,” he said.

Thackeray made an emotional outreach to the Sainiks gathered at the rally, asking them to support the party while promising that the Shiv Sena will bounce back with double the force. “Today, I have nothing. We will have a difficult path ahead. But, with your support, the Shiv Sena will rise again. It will bounce back and I will make a Shiv Sainik the Chief Minister again. We have to defeat the traitors in every election,” Thackeray said.

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Thackeray also praised the Sena’s MVA coalition partners – the Congress and the NCP – stating they gave the party respect. “When we renamed Aurangabad as Sambhaji Nagar and Osmanabad as Dharashiv, the coalition immediately agreed. Still they (the BJP) say we left Hindutva? Where were they (Shinde faction) that time? Touring Guwahati and Surat?” the former CM said.

The Shiv Sena’s Dussehra rally at Shivaji Park in Dadar came after a battle with its rival – the Shinde-led faction – over the venue which culminated in the Bombay High Court ruling in Thackeray’s favour in its verdict in the matter on September 23.

First published on: 06-10-2022 at 04:00:19 am
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