‘Hindutva Is About Saving Lives, Not Opening Temples’: Uddhav Thackeray Attacks Centre During Dussehra Melawa In Mumbai

Mumbai: Former Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray launched a diatribe against the ruling NDA government in the state, as well as at the Centre, on several issues including the quota demands, Marathi pride, corruption and Hindutva, as he addressed his party’s traditional Dussehra rally at the iconic Shivaji Park in Dadar on Tuesday.

“They wanted us to open temples while we were busy saving lives in the Covid pandemic,” Thackeray said and added that apart from being proudly Hindu, the Shiv Sena (UBT) stands for Marathi pride as well.

Thackeray Speaks On Dharavi Redevelopment Project

Thackeray also lashed out at the appointment of ‘a real-estate developer’ as the guardian minister of Mumbai and for awarding Dharavi’s redevelopment to a friend of those in power.”

“We stand for saving Mumbai from those who are trying to loot it,” Thackeray said, referring to infrastructure projects like the high-speed train between Mumbai and Ahmedabad.

He also challenged the government to go to the polls over all these issues, adding, “They are afraid and hence, are even delaying the University senate elections.”

Touching on the issue of quota demands being raised by the Marathas, Dhangars and OBCs, Thackeray voiced support to activist Manoj Jarange-Patil. “I thank him for taking the right stand. He carried out the Maratha agitation very well and has also brought the Dhangar community together. I visited his village to meet activists who were lathi-charged. It was a horrible experience,” Thackeray said, recounting his interactions with the victims.

He emphasized that a resolution of the Maratha reservation issue could only be achieved in the Lok Sabha. “We were hoping for a crucial decision during the special session of Parliament on the first day of Ganeshotsav. They could have overturned the Supreme Court decision, as was done on the basis of massive strength in the case of Delhi. But they did not do so,” Thackeray said.

Let’s Burn Down The Khokasur: Uddhav Thackeray

This year’s Dussehra rally assumed significance in light of the fact that it was being held for the first time after the Shiv Sena (UBT) lost both the name ‘Shiv Sena’ and the bow-and-arrow election symbol. “Ravan also was a devotee of Shiva. But he went mad with the pride of his power. Hence, he had to be destroyed. He abducted Seeta, just as the Shiv Sena was taken away from us. But in our case, they also snatched our bow and arrow,” Thackeray said.

“But now, we have the ‘mashaal’. So, just as Hanuman, who burnt down Lanka, let us burn down the ‘Khokasur’,” Thackeray declared, making an oblique reference to the breakaway Shiv Sena faction led by Chief Minister Eknath Shinde. Thackeray did not mince words when it came to the BJP, accusing them of sowing division among the people to divert public attention from pressing issues such as inflation and unemployment. He concluded with a pointed remark, “Those who don’t believe in the family system should refrain from commenting on dynasties,” taking a clear swipe at Prime Minister Modi.

“I repeatedly emphasise that the BJP never had any connection with the struggle for Independence, nor with the Marathwada Mukti Sangram. They weren’t involved in the United Maharashtra Movement; instead, they arrived with the United Maharashtra Committee and were the first to desert us,” Thackeray said.

He pointed out how the Jan Sangh had entered the Janata Party, then later, aligned with the Shiv Sena, the Akali Dal, and on occasion, even with Nitish Kumar. “Wherever they go, they cause destruction. Therefore, Manoj Jarange-Patil must be cautious,” Uddhav Thackeray warned.

Sena UBT MP Sanjay Raut Attacks Centre On Corruption

Shiv Sena (UBT) member of Parliament and party spokesperson Sanjay Raut, whose speech preceded Thackeray’s, lambasted the government in the state as well as the Centre, for rampant corruption. “Eknath Shinde is a scam in himself,” Raut said, adding, “After going with the BJP, it has turned into a mega scam.”

He asked Union Home Minister Amit Shah when he was going to hang all the corrupt politicians in Maharashtra, referring to a recent speech by the latter in Chhattisgarh. “They are anti-corruption only in opposition states,” he said.

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