While praising Prime Minister Narendra Modi for carrying out surgical strikes across the LoC, Shiv Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray dared the BJP to break the alliance ahead of crucial Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) polls, which are to be held in early 2017.
Some in the BJP say we will break the alliance. If they have courage, I dare them to break it. Then we will show them our surgical strikes! Mumbai belongs to the Shiv Sena and the Shiv Sena belongs to Mumbai. We will take what belongs to us.Uddhav Thackeray, Shiv Sena Chief
Uddhav Thackeray was addressing the annual Dussehra rally of the Shiv Sena at Shivaji Park in central Mumbai. His comments was a reaction to statements made by BJP MP Kirit Somaiya and Mumbai BJP president Ashish Shelar, who have been constantly targeting the Shiv Sena and Uddhav Thackeray. Somiaya had recently said that the BJP will fight BMC polls on its own.
But Uddhav appeared confused as he toned down his attack in his next breath and seemed more willing to do a pre-poll alliance with the BJP.
I make an appeal to the Chief Minister that he should tell us who will speak on the BJP’s behalf at the regional level. I will not talk much about it today as I don’t want the alliance to break because of us. (In seat-sharing,) We will not beg, we will take what we deserve.Uddhav Thackeray, Shiv Sena Chief
Uddhav reiterated Bal Thackeray’s stand that reservations should be on the basis of economic condition, but also supported the cause of Maratha reservation. At the same time, he opposed giving reservations to Muslims on the basis of religion.
Scuffle Between Sena, BJP Workers
A scuffle broke out between workers of the two ruling parties at suburban Mulund hours before Uddhav Thackeray’s rally. Shiv Sainiks protested when they got to know that BJP MP Kirit Somaiya was burning a “Raavan of corruption in BMC”. The Sena and BJP workers exchanged blows when Somaiya decided to go ahead with the programme despite Shiv Sena’s objection.
Although the BJP is a partner of the Shiv Sena in ruling BMC, Somaiya has claimed that only the Sena is responsible for the alleged massive corruption in India’s richest municipal body.
Thumbs Down From Social Media
Social media compared Uddhav’s speech with fierce speeches delivered by his father, Bal Thackeray. Although there was some praise for him in Marathi, English tweets mostly slammed his speech.