Mumbai: With the 2024 Lok Sabha polls barely a few months away, Uddhav Thackeray and Eknath Shinde continued their political fireworks on the occasion of Dussehra on Tuesday. They called each others “traitors” and “betraying” Balasaheb Thackeray and the people of Maharashtra.
While Thackeray addressed from Shivaji Park, Shinde spoke from Azad Maidan – during the two parallel rallies of the 57-year-old party founded by Balasaheb to further the cause of Marathi-manoos and pursue firebrand Hindutva.
Thackeray hit out at PM Modi.
“After the 2014 Lok Sabha polls, we all went to (the President) Pranab Mukherjee. We said that Modi is the leader (of BJP-led NDA government). Later you are aware what happened,” he said, adding: “(Adolf) Hitler also got majority of votes but today people of Germany are ashamed of Hitler and his misdeeds. Germans distance themselves from Hitler now.”
Thackeray strongly favoured the need to have coalition governments at the Centre.
“The examples of PV Narasimha Rao, Atal Bihari Vajpayee and Dr Manmohan Singh are before us,” he said.
“We have the flaming torch. In the next elections, it would destroy the dictatorship,” said Thackeray, one of the big leaders of the opposition I.N.D.I.A alliance.
“Ravan was an ardent devotee of Shiva, but Lord Ram killed him because of his arrogance and his misdeeds,” Thackeray said.
“Let us not speak much about the traitors who have ditched us. They fled away with the name and symbol,” he said, adding: “You can use whatever soap you want, but gaddar will always be written on their forehead,” he said.
Those who had betrayed Balasaheb the ideals of Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj would be taught a lesson by the people of Maharashtra.
On the other hand, Shinde said that it was Thackeray who compromised and betrayed the ideals of Balsaheb.
“They are anti-Hindutva as they have an alliance with Congress,” he said, adding that in the next elections the ten-headed Ravan called I.N.D.I.A would meet its fate.
“They seek votes in the name of Modi and then they abuse the Prime Minister daily,” he said, adding: “They cannot digest that a farmer is now the CM.”
Shinde said that he goes by the ideals of Balasaheb and the teachings of his mentor late Anand Dighe, the firebrand Shiv Sena leader. “They have betrayed the cause of Hindutva for the sake of power,” said Shinde.
“Every now and then they predict the fall of the government in Maharashtra. They say that the Chief Minister is on his way out,” he said, adding that they have the support of the people of the state.
(Published 24 October 2023, 17:12 IST)