SEEKING VOTES to appoint the MNS as the opposition party in the state Assembly, party chief Raj Thackeray on Monday took on the BJP for making the abrogation of Article 370 in Jammu and Kashmir an issue in the Assembly election. “We want to be the opposition party to keep a check on the ruling party. It is not that the motive is to take on those in power for the sake of it. We are not like others and would praise if there is any good work by the government. I had praised the Union government’s decision on the abrogation of Article 370 in Jammu and Kashmir,” Thackeray said.
He was addressing a public rally at Mandai in Kasbapeth Assembly constituency. He said BJP chief Amit Shah was only highlighting the abrogation of Article 370 during the election campaign of the state Assembly.
“There are many other issues related to the state that have to be raised during the election campaign. They should speak on issues of farmers, industrial slowdown, scams in banks,” the MNS chief said.
Thackeray said there was no opposition left in the country and the state. “The MNS wanted to boycott the Assembly election in protest over the use of EVMs (electronic voting machine) and had urged other opposition parties to do the same, but no one agreed. We are now contesting the elections to emerge as a formidable opposition and keep a check on the ruling party in the government,” he said.
The MNS chief said a strong opposition was required to take on those in power for wrong decisions and failures.
“Former Congress leader Radhakrishna Vikhe-Patil was the leader of the opposition but he joined the ruling BJP. All the corrupt leaders of the Congress and the NCP are now in the BJP. This means, the corrupt will be in power again,” he said.
The voters were being taken for granted by political parties, Thackeray said, adding that it had become a norm that the election manifesto was released to make promises. A large amount of money, he said, was used in winning elections. Thackeray took on the state government for going ahead to fulfil the dream of Prime Minister Narendra Modi to develop a bullet train from Mumbai to Ahmedabad by raising a loan of Rs 1.1 lakh crore.
“The country is going through a serious economic situation. I had warned that if demonetisation fails, then there will be a massive problem and look at what is happening now,” he said, adding that the industrial sector was badly hit and the youth were unsure whether they would be able to retain their jobs. The automobile industry had 10 lakh employees and it was going through tough time, Thackeray added. He also said a large population was going to suffer in case of job loss.
“The BJP has come to power at the Centre by winning more seats than in 2014. I fail to understand how winning seats is going up while the country and the state are going down,” Thackeray said.