In an all-out attack against the BJP, Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray on Wednesday said the party’s parent organisation, Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS), did not take part in the freedom struggle, and it cannot prove its patriotic credentials by chanting ‘Bharat Mata Ki Jai’.
Thackeray also said that Union Home Minister Amit Shah was “shamelessly” denying the discussion that took place between them in Matoshree on sharing of the chief minister’s post between BJP and Shiv Sena in regard to the 2019 Maharashtra Assembly polls.
Thackeray was speaking in the state Assembly on the motion of thanks on Governor Bhagat Singh Koshyari’s address to the joint session of the state legislature.
“The Shiv Sena did not exist during the freedom movement. But your (BJP) parent organisation (RSS) also did not take part in the freedom movement. So, patriotism cannot be proved by just saying ‘Bharat Mata Ki Jai’. If you are not giving justice to the people after coming to power, then you do not have the right to say ‘Bharat Mata Ki Jai’,” he said.
Thackeray criticised the BJP on a range of issues – not bestowing the Bharat Ratna on V D Savarkar, increasing fuel prices, announcing a sudden lockdown, not granting classical status to
Marathi language and the stand off over the Kanjurmarg land in Mumbai for the Metro car shed among others.
He attacked the BJP for not keeping its 2019 promise of equal seat and power sharing, including the chief minister’s post. “In a closed-door meeting in Balasaheb’s room, Amit Shah and I discussed the strategy on the way ahead but (former CM Devendra) Fadnavis was not present in the room. But the things decided inside were denied shamelessly outside. Yes, I am using the word shamelessly deliberately even if it is an unparliamentary word. Is this your Hindutva? Is this your love for late Sena supremo Balasaheb Thackeray? We consider that room as a temple,” said Thackeray.
He further asked the BJP why the Bharat Ratna is yet to be bestowed upon Savarkar despite the two letters sent by the previous BJP government led by Fadnavis.
On BJP’s allegations that the government did not provide enough assistance to farmers, the CM said that while farmers are protesting against the three new farm laws, their electricity has been disconnected and toilets dismantled. “The country and the state are not your private property but the property of the farmers,” he added.
Refuting allegations of corruption, Thackeray said that his government did not hide anything in the fight against the Covid-19 pandemic. “No one should play politics on Covid as it does not differentiate between members of the ruling or Opposition party,” he added.