The MNS chief was addressing a rally in Jalana in the backdrop of skirmishes between MNS and NCP workers in different areas of the State following an attack on Mr. Thackeray’s convoy in Ahmednagar district on Tuesday.

Maharashtra Navnirman Sena (MNS) president Raj Thackeray on Saturday said he would give a fitting reply to Deputy Chief Minister and NCP leader Ajit Pawar.

The MNS chief was addressing a rally in Jalana in the backdrop of skirmishes between MNS and NCP workers in different areas of the State following an attack on Mr. Thackeray’s convoy in Ahmednagar district on Tuesday.

“I’m not scared if you throw stones even at my vehicle. I will speak what I want to. Just put aside the Home Ministry and the police department and come one on one. You won’t be able to return home again on your feet,” said Mr. Thackeray.

“NCP leaders also travel in Maharashtra, stones can come from us as well. Ajit Pawar, only one-and-a-half years are left, what will you do when we come to power in 2014,” asked the MNS chief.

Mr. Thackeray alleged that the Income-Tax raids on the former BJP president, Nitin Gadkari, were politically motivated.

“Income-Tax authorities raided the companies related to Gadkari’s Purti group on the eve of his [scheduled] re-election to the post of BJP president. But what happened to the Income-Tax department when he resigned from his post? There has been no Income-Tax raid after he resigned. The Congress-NCP government had a hand in it,” alleged Mr. Thackeray.

The MNS chief took a dig at NCP president Sharad Pawar, saying that while he expressed displeasure at the lavish spending at the marriage ceremony of an NCP Minister, he would not really stop the Indian Premier League despite the drought in the State this year.

Targeting Mr. Ajit Pawar on the irrigation scandal, Mr. Thackeray said, “drought is there in all parts of Maharashtra, including western Maharashtra. It’s time Ajit Pawar and his protégés answered for the Rs. 70,000 crore spent on irrigation in the State during the past decade… Who is responsible for drought? The government or nature?”

He accused NCP leaders of intentionally delaying irrigation projects for getting ‘haftas’ from contractors.

He appealed to Mr. Sharad Pawar to make public the properties of officers associated with the Irrigation Department.

“Sugar factories are the dens of NCP leaders to blackmail the public. People of the State are mortgaging gold, killing their animals, and are forced to migrate, and Ajit Pawar is challenging us to give a fitting reply,” said Mr. Thackeray. He accused Mr. Ajit Pawar of playing vote-bank politics.