Mumbai

Shinde-Fadnavis govt. illicit, 40 rebel MLAs can never be the face of Maharashtra: Aaditya Thackeray

Shiv Sena leader Aaditya Thackeray. File

Shiv Sena leader Aaditya Thackeray. File | Photo Credit: PTI

Launching a broadside against Chief Minister Eknath Shinde and the rebel Shiv Sena faction, Sena leader and MLA Aaditya Thackeray on Tuesday said that the 40 rebel MLAs “could never be the true face of Maharashtra” while stating that the reasons given by Eknath Shinde camp to justify their intra-party rebellion were “utterly frivolous.”

Addressing whirlwind rallies in Kolhapur, Satara and Pune as part of his outreach programme ‘Shiv Samvad Yatra’, the youthful Mr. Thackeray said that the new government formed by Mr. Shinde and BJP leader Devendra Fadnavis (after toppling the erstwhile Uddhav Thackeray-led MVA) was “unconstitutional and illicit” and claimed that it was sure to fall soon.

“Do you agree with the dirty politics that is going on in the State? The real faces of these traitors [MLAs of the Shinde camp] had been exposed with their act of betrayal…I challenge them to resign as MLAs and MPs and face the public to seek another mandate if they have the guts to do so,” said the Sena leader.

Also read | Sanjay Raut a hardcore Shiv Sainik who defied pressure, says Uddhav Thackeray

Mocking the delay in the expansion of the new Cabinet despite the passage of a month since Mr. Shinde and Mr. Fadnavis took power, Mr. Thackeray dubbed the Shinde-Fadnavis government as a ‘two-man jumbo cabinet’.

“Theirs is a jumbo Cabinet of two…They still haven’t found a third person deserving to be part of their Cabinet. This is an illicit government of traitors and one that will surely collapse soon,” he said.

Stating that the Thackeray family and the Sena had glutted the rebel MLAs and MPs with more affection and opportunities for personal advancement than they had deserved, he said that they had perhaps gone over to the other side to overcome their ‘indigestion’.

“It takes courage to revolt. But you [Shinde camp MLAs] are cowards, not rebels… Had you wanted to stage an insurrection, you would not have tasted power for two-and-a-half years in the MVA. This explanation that we are joining the BJP for the sake of ‘Hindutva’ is ludicrous,” said Mr. Thackeray.

Lashing out at the manner of Mr. Shinde’s rebellion, he cited the rebel MLAs’ sojourn in BJP-ruled Gujarat and Assam (they were taken to Surat before moving to Guwahati).

“I was saddened that while people of Assam suffered terribly in floods, had no food and were dispossessed, these 40 shameless MLAs were dancing in hotel rooms in T-shirts and track pants. Had they been real Shiv Sainiks, they would have hit the streets of Assam to help the flood-hit people. How can such people be your elected representatives?” said Mr. Thackeray.

Meanwhile, Mr. Shinde, who was on a tour of Pune district, said he and the MLAs who joined his camp had taken the decision to break away from Uddhav Thackeray’s Sena in a bid “to save Maharashtra” and give justice to the common man and ordinary Shiv Sainiks.

Speaking at a rally in Purandar, Mr. Shinde questioned as to what the Sena had gained in the MVA alliance, while hitting out at the Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) for lodging cases against Sena leaders.

“NCP leaders started saying come to us [join the NCP] and we will lift all cases against you… when Shiv Sainiks came to me with these complaints, how could I keep watching? I am not a thick-skinned party worker…I am a sensitive Shiv Sainik of the ideals of Bal Thackeray and Anand Dighe,” Mr. Shinde said, justifying the rebellion.

He said that the scenario would have been different had the Sena and the BJP formed the government in 2019 itself and the Congress and the NCP, which dominated the MVA alliance, would not have received a lease of life as they eventually did.

Hitting out at the Thackeray camp for branding them as ‘traitors’, Mr. Shinde asked: “If we are indeed traitors and rebels, then would the people of Maharashtra have showered so much affection on us during our visits to different parts of the State?”

He further said that in the new government, no one would dare to lodge a case against a Shiv Sainik in the future.


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Printable version | Aug 3, 2022 1:19:22 pm | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/mumbai/maharashtra-govt-of-traitors-will-collapse-aaditya-thackeray/article65718619.ece