Maharashtra Chief Minister and Shiv Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray lashed out at the Bhartiya Janata Party (BJP) during his Dussehra speech on Sunday. Thackeray also slammed Maharashtra Governor Bhagat Singh Koshyari, who had questioned the Chief Minister’s stance on ‘Hindutva’ after he did not allow the reopening of temples in the state amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
Taking a jibe at PM Modi and the Centre, Uddhav on Sunday said his Hindutva is not “clanging bells and utensils”. “We are being asked about Hindutva. Why? Because temples are not being opened. They say my Hindutva is different from that of Balasaheb Thackeray. Your Hindutva is about clanging bells and utensils, our Hindutva is not like that,” he said.
“Had Shiv Sena not been there when there were riots people would have not been saved. Where were those propogating Hindutva at that time?” Uddhav asked. “You are questioning my Hindutva when cow slaughter is banned in Maharashtra but isn’t banned in Goa,” he further said.
Uddhav also took a swipe at BJP’s ‘Operation Lotus’ in the state. He also challenged them to “topple the Maha Vikas Aghadi govt and show”. “It has been a year now. From the day I became the CM, it was being said that the state government will be toppled. I challenge and say that if you have the courage, do it and show,” Uddhav said. “If BJP is only interested to fall non-BJP governments and come to power then we can expect anarchy in the country,” he added.
The Maharashra Chief Minister also slammed BJP for their poll promise of free vaccines in Bihar. “You are talking about giving free vaccines in Bihar. Is rest of the country Pakistan or Bangladesh? Those speaking like that should be ashamed of themselves. You are at the centre,” he said.
Speaking on the death of Bollywood actor Sushant Singh Rajput and the allegations against Environment and Tourism Minister Aaditya Thackeray, Uddhav said, “Those crying for justice for Bihar’s son indulging in character assassination of Maharashtra’s son.”
This year’s Dussehra rally was significant because this is the first time a Sena chief is also the Maharashtra Chief Minister. Due to the coronavirus pandemic, the rally which is traditionally held at the Shivaji Park ground was held at Swatantryaveer Savarkar auditorium opposite the ground at Dadar.