Mounting a blistering attack on the Bharatiya Janata Party government, Shiv Sena (UBT) President Uddhav Thackeray said that the ruling coalition at the Centre is ‘shaken’ by the success of the recent National Opposition parties’ conclave in Mumbai last fortnight.
“They are so rattled by the INDIA bloc that they have changed the country’s name to Bharat… We shall not indulge in such name-change games… We will change the ruling party and the nation’s Prime Minister in the next (Lok Sabha) elections… The BJP will not return to power in the 2024 elections,” roared Thackeray, amid a huge round of applause.
However, he said that ‘INDIA’, ‘Bharat’ or ‘Hindustan’ are all our names and we shall use any that we like, and nobody can impose it on us, while addressing a large public rally here this afternoon.
Thackeray pointed out how, during the INDIA conclave in Mumbai (August 31-September 1), the ruling Shiv Sena had triggered a post-banner war labelling his party as ‘Shiv Sena Congress’.
“Arre… We were with the BJP for 25-30 years and we did not become like them, so how can be become a Congress now…?” asked Thackeray, to cheers from the audience.
Training guns on the BJP, Thackeray said that they will go to any lengths to grab power, breaking political parties, grabbing other parties leaders, including his father (the late Balasaheb Thackeray).
“There is talk now that there could be a repeat of the Godhra incident (February 27, 2002) around the inauguration of the Ram Temple in Ayodhya…” warned Thackeray.
Referring to the ongoing Manipur crises, the Shiv Sena (UBT) supremo lamented how women were publicly brutalised and shamed, “but the government at the Centre has said or done nothing”.
“Those who choose to keep quiet on such tragic and serious issues have no right to utter the name of Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj or Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel and such icons,” said Thackeray sharply.
He slammed Shinde for having time to travel to New Delhi and click his photos with the G-20 dignitaries, but has no time to go to meet the Maratha leader Manoj Jarange-Patil -- currently on hunger strike in Jalna for 13 days to press for quotas.
Thackeray again compared the police crackdown of September 1 on the protesting Maratha crowds -- terming it as ‘Jalna-wala’, akin to the Jallianwala Bagh massacre (April 13, 1919) of the British regime.
“What are Jarange-Patil’s demands… At least talk to him, we had gone to meet him… Is any official representative of the government still in communication with the Maratha leader or nor? Or is it left to that bearded traitor (ex-Shiv Sena-UBT legislator) Arjun Khotkar…” wondered Thackeray.
He called upon the people to throw out the government of traitors, corrupt elements and those who have been making false promises in the next elections and ensure they are not taken for a ride again.
Earlier, Thackeray inaugurated a statue of Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj and Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel in two major junctions of Jalgaon city.