Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s photos are plastered on dustbins in some Arab countries and India has been subjected to great humiliation owing to the Bharatiya Janata Party’s ‘tinpot spokespersons’, Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray thundered here on Wednesday.
Taking strong umbrage at the discomfiture to the Indian Prime Minister, Thackeray said while the BJP and its spokespersons cannot be said to speak on behalf of India, they ended up bringing disgrace to the country.
“Why did they need to make comments on the Prophet Mohammed? Just as our gods are dear to us, they also revere their gods…. Why should you show hatred towards any other religions…. India is now facing protests in all Muslim countries and the PM’s photos are stuck on garbage bins, bringing shame to the country,” Thackeray roared.
Replying to the state Opposition BJP’s barrage of criticism of the Maha Vikas Aghadi (MVA) government of Shiv Sena-Nationalist Congress Party-Congress, Thackeray said it was ‘unfortunate’.
“Those whom we trusted and made them sit in our laps for 25-30 years are now our enemies…. Those against whom we fought for so many years are today our friends, they respect us and have joined hands strongly for the state’s progress,” Thackeray said, indirectly expressing his gratitude to the MVA allies.
Rebuffing the BJP’s questions on his ‘Hindutva’, he countered by asking “who are they to question our Hindutva credentials?” at a mammoth rally in this tourism hub.
“Our Hindutva does not teach hatred for any religion…. Our Hindutva is like Ram in the heart and work in the hands…. Don’t teach us Hindutva,” Thackeray shot back.
Referring to the recent ‘Jan Aakrosh rally’ organised by the BJP in Aurangabad to highlight the water problems in this Marathwada hub, Thackeray said that “angst was not for water” but for losing power and directed at him personally.
“They have been deadlines after deadlines for the MVA government to collapse, but in the past two-and-half years it has not happened, nor will it happen. That ‘aakrosh’ (anger) is directed against me and my government which is working successfully on the path of development,” said Thackeray.
It was because of this frustration at losing power in 2019 that the centre is targetting MVA leaders with central agencies like ED or CBI and dared the BJP to deploy these investigation arms in Jammu & Kashmir where the Kashmiri Pandits are being forced to leave their home again.
He also dared those wanting to recite Hanuman Chalisa outside his home to go to Kashmir and chant the Hindu prayers there.
On the much-anticipated issue of rechristening Aurangabad as ‘Sambhajinagar’, Thacekray said it was his father – the late Balasaheb Thackeray who had made the promise, and vowed to honour it soon.
“We are committed to change the name of Aurangabad to Sambhajinagar, but that will not solve the water problems or the bad roads here. It will be renamed when it befits the city and even Chhatrapati Sambhaji would find it ideal,” Thackeray assured.
The Chief Minister touched on a variety of other issues including pooh-poohing the claims by Leader of Opposition Devendra Fadnavis that he was present during the razing of the Babri Mosque when no Shiv Sainiks were present, on the need for all to keep their religious beliefs within their homes and not insulting other religions, the fast paced development and huge investments the state is attracting from India and abroad, which is giving sleepless nights to the BJP.