Other States

Uddhav Thackeray mocks at Rahul Gandhi’s ‘Bangkok sojourn’

Shiv Sena president Uddhav Thackeray smiles as his younger son Tejas (left) greets the crowds at a election rally in Sangamner on Wednesday.

Shiv Sena president Uddhav Thackeray smiles as his younger son Tejas (left) greets the crowds at a election rally in Sangamner on Wednesday.   | Photo Credit: Rajesh Waradkar

Tells Congress leaders to sit at home and cease campaigning

Taking potshots at the Congress leadership ahead of the Assembly polls, Shiv Sena president Uddhav Thackeray on Wednesday mocked Rahul Gandhi’s absence from the campaign.

Addressing a public meeting in Ahmednagar district’s Sangamner — citadel of Maharashtra Pradesh Congress Committee (MPCC) chief Balasaheb Thorat — Mr. Thackeray urged Mr. Thorat to “go home” as his leader had departed for Bangkok on the eve of the crucial Assembly polls in the State.

“Your leader [Mr. Gandhi] has reached Bangkok. So, you [Mr. Thorat] too, can sit at home and cease campaigning else the public will compel you to do so,” Mr. Thackeray said, while addressing a meeting in support of the Sena’s Sahebrao Navale, who is pitted against Mr. Thorat in Sangamner.

The Sena chief further said that while his party’s relationship with the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), had not always been smooth, he and his party had always raised issues relevant to the people of Maharashtra.

“I will not say there were no hitches in our [BJP-Sena coalition] relationship, but we have persistently taken up problems affecting farmers and the common people even while remaining part of the government...when the BJP showed the will to resolve these problems, we had no hesitation in forming a pre-poll alliance with them,” Mr. Thackeray said, asserting that the BJP-Sena government would deliver on its promise of bringing water to parched Ahmednagar district after the polls. Urging Shiv Sena activists to not clash with BJP workers, Mr. Thackeray said both parties had come together to give Maharashtra a better government.

He said their detractors had been proved comprehensively wrong when they predicted that the saffron alliance would be finished before the Lok Sabha election.

“Instead, we returned with a bigger majority,” Mr. Thackeray said. He said Maharashtra had failed to progress even after 60 years of Congress (and NCP) rule and added that the opposition had completely atrophied with their best leaders defecting to the ruling parties.

Commenting on veteran Congressman Sushilkumar Shinde’s statements on a possible Congress-NCP merger in the near future, Mr. Thackeray said, “The Congress and the NCP better decide who will be their leader after the merger.”

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Printable version | May 31, 2020 11:43:00 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/other-states/uddhav-thackeray-mocks-at-rahul-gandhis-bangkok-sojourn/article29630737.ece

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