Thackeray blows hot and cold at BJP in Dussehra rally

Mumbai : Shiv Sena President Uddhav Thackeray on Tuesday lauded Prime Minister Narendra Modi for the recent surgical strikes across the Line of Control in Jammu and Kashmir, and simultaneously dared the state BJP to break its alliance.

Addressing the party’s golden jubilee Dassehra Rally at Shivaji Park late this evening, Thackeray said after the surgical strikes, he called up Modi and told him that “this is the Narendrabhai we want – go ahead, we are with you”.

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“But there were some in the Congress, even Rahul Gandhi, and others, who demanded proof of the surgical strikes…How can you raise doubts on the Indian Army and its soldiers who sacrifice their lives for you?” Thackeray thundered.

Blasting the doubters, he said: “They are the children of Pakistan.. They don’t have the blood of Bharat Mata in their veins, but the gutter waters of Lahore and Islamabad, and such muck must be thrown away.”

Training guns on the Bharatiya Janata Party’s Maharashtra unit, he said regularly people from that party raise their heads and make suo moto statements that they would not contest the upcoming civic polls jointly with Shiv Sena.

“Two years ago, a 25-year old friend (BJP) had backstabbed us… Now, decide who is your leader, stand before us and break the alliance – Then we will give you a taste of our ‘surgical strike’ here,” he warned.

Dwelling on the issue of reservations, he said reservations should be considered given not on basis of caste but on economic considerations.

“Give reservations to Marathas, we are all for it… But don’t give reservations to the Muslims … not on religious grounds, but as an economically backward segment… My father and my grandfather had to drop off from school only because they lacked financial resources,” he urged.

Reiterating the party stand on opposing Pakistan, the Sena chief said that it was the only party which consistently demanded a ban on the neighbouring country’s cricketers, artistes or actors in India.

“Our brave soldiers shed their red blood on the borders… Here, we roll out the red carpet for the Pakistanis… Why?” he asked.

Referring to the demand from certain quarters on amending the act for atrocities against Dalits and tribals, Thackeray said if it indeed being misused, then it should be amended and those found guilty of misuing the act should be punished.

Earlier, he said that the Shiv Sena which was born at Shivaji Park, had crossed a major milestone of 50 years after huge struggles and sacrifices of its workers and will continue to do so for many more years.