“Need Strong Government, But Not Of Any One Party”: Uddhav Thackeray


Shiv Sena (UBT) chief Uddhav Thackeray on Tuesday said the country needs a strong government but not of “one party with brute majority”, and batted for a coalition rule.

Speaking at his party’s annual Dussehra rally at Shivaji Park in central Mumbai, he said when the “chair” (of ruler) is unstable, the country becomes strong.

Mr Thackeray, who is part of the Opposition’s INDIA bloc, advocated a “mili-juli sarkar’ (coalition government) which can take everyone along, and cited the examples of governments under Manmohan Singh, P V Narasimha Rao and Atal Bihari Vajpayee.

There was a time when Sena founder and his father late Bal Thackeray said that the country needed a strong government, Uddhav recalled.

“We have seen a strong government for nine years now. Have the issues of the people been resolved? “There should be a strong government, but not of any one party with a brute majority,” he added, targeting the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), his friend-turned-foe.

The BJP or (its predecessor) Jana Sangh played no role in any struggle including that for the country’s freedom, Marathwada liberation struggle or the Samyukta (united) Maharashtra movement, the former chief minister claimed.

Attempts were being made to “steal” the Shiv Sena, he said, slamming the rival Sena led by Maharashtra Chief Minister Eknath Shinde.

Warning his rivals, Mr Thackeray said, “After we come to power, we will hang upside down those who are harassing us.” Attacking the BJP, Mr Thackeray said his party’s Hindutva was nationalism.

Slamming the Shinde government over the lathi-charge at Maratha protestors in Jalna last month, Thackeray said the Marathas were agitating for quota even when he was chief minister, but he never gave such orders.

Who was the “General Dyer” who ordered lathi-charge in Jalna, he asked.

The issue of reservation for Maratha, Dhangar and other communities can only be resolved by the Centre and Parliament, Thackeray further said.

The BJP creates a rift and then acts as a protector, he alleged.

Slamming Maharashtra assembly speaker Rahul Narwekar over “delay” in disqualifying rebel MLAs of the Shiv Sena, Thackeray said the country was not just watching how the case unfolds. If the speaker did not heed the Supreme Court’s direction (to hear disqualification petitions expeditiously), the people would be watching if an apex court exists in the country or not, he said.

Mr Thackeray also dared the Shinde-led government to hold elections and let people decide whether the rebel MLAs were “qualified or disqualified”.

Seeking to counter the BJP’s attack on dynastic politics, Thackeray said he was proud of his family.

“…a doctor’s son becomes a doctor. We are preserving the legacy of our family… Chief Justice of India D Y Chandrachud is also preserving the legacy of his family,” he said.

“He (Chandrachud) has occupied the position because of his merit. His father (Y V Chandrachud) too was the chief justice of the country and he was very strict,” Mr Thackeray said.

On the other hand, there were some leaders who came from obscure families and rose to power, Mr Thackeray said, citing the examples of Adolf Hitler, Benito Mussolini, Saddam Hussain, Vladimir Putin and Muammar Gaddafi.

Targeting the Maharashtra government over the Ahmedabad-Mumbai bullet train project, he asked who will benefit from it.

The high-speed train project was being executed “so that traitors can quickly flee to Gujarat,” he quipped, and alleged that attempts were being made to “loot Mumbai.” All good investments were being diverted from Maharashtra to Gujarat and other states, Mr Thackeray claimed.

The Pakistani team was playing cricket in India when Indian soldiers were being shot at on the India-Pakistan border, the Sena (UBT) chief said.

After the speeches were over, effigies of Ravan and a demon dubbed as “khokasur” were burnt.

The Thackeray-led Sena has often accused the MLAs of the Shinde group of taking `khokas’ (crores of rupees) to switch loyalties which led to the collapse of the Thackeray government in June last year.

(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)

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