“I want to ask RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat whether he had expected this kind of behaviour of BJP seen today,” Uddhav Thackeray said.
New Delhi: Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray claimed on Wednesday that the BJP had brought the country to its knees and forced it to apologise to the Gulf countries over contentious remarks made by a BJP spokesperson about Prophet Mohammad.
Mr Thackeray slammed the BJP while speaking at a rally outside Mumbai for the first time since his back surgery in November last year, saying that while inflation is rising and the currency is falling, there is a concern over finding a Shivling beneath which mosque.
He also blasted the Centre for the recent targeted killings in Kashmir, saying that raids should be carried out instead of the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) and the Enforcement Directorate (ED) tormenting Maharashtra’s ruling Maha Vikas Aghadi (MVA) leaders.
In response to the controversial remarks made by former BJP spokeswoman Nupur Sharma on Prophet Mohammad, he remarked, “Our country was dragged to its knees by the Middle East and Arab countries, and we were obliged to apologise. What was the catalyst behind this? India must make amends. So, how has the country fared? The crime has been done by the BJP and its spokespeople.”
“The words spoken by the BJP spokesperson or BJP cannot be the stand of India on any issue. The words of BJP spokesperson used (for Prophet Mohammad) tarnished India’s image at the International level. It damaged the image of my country and not that of the BJP,” he said.
“There are political differences between us (Shiv Sena and BJP), but he (Narendra Modi) is our country’s prime minister. His photo was stuck on garbage bins (in some country) and we keep seeing it. But why should the country apologise for it when the mistake is done by BJP and its spokesperson,” Mr Thackeray added.
After a scandal over their alleged offensive remarks about Prophet Mohammad escalated with complaints from certain Muslim countries, the BJP suspended Nupur Sharma and fired its Delhi unit media leader Naveen Kumar Jindal on Sunday.
Ms Sharma’s remarks, which she delivered in a recent TV discussion, and Mr Jindal’s now-deleted tweets spurred a Twitter trend asking for an Indian product boycott in some Gulf countries.
“I want to ask RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat whether he had expected this kind of behaviour of BJP seen today,” Mr Thackeray said.
During his speech, he targeted the BJP over various issues ranging from Hindutva to inflation and the controversial statements made by BJP spokespersons.
“Inflation is rising, rupee is declining, but our worry is Shivling lying beneath which mosque, what is under the Taj Mahal, what is under the Gyanvapi masjid,” he said at a rally that was attended by the top leaders of the party.
“What have we done to say that we have deserted Hindutva. Let’s debate what Shiv Sena has done for Hindutva and BJP has done for it,” he said.
He said had his father late Sena founder Bal Thackeray not taken the responsibility and said that if the Shiv Sainiks had demolished Babri he was proud of it, or had he not backed Kashmiri Pandits and “roared” when Amarnath Yatra was under attack, then would BJP have risen to power in the name of Hindutva. Asserting that the Sena was not “hollow Hindutvavdi” to take lessons of Hindutva from the BJP, Mr Thackeray recalled that during the Ayodhya movement, there was slogan ‘Whoever who thinks about the welfare of Hindus will rule the country’ and asked whether the BJP which is in power thinking about the welfare of Hindus.
He also praised the RSS chief’s remarks, saying that Shivlings do not need to be found in every mosque.
He also slammed Independent MP Navneet Rana and her MLA husband Ravi Rana, who were detained in April for insisting on reciting the Hanuman Chalisa outside Mr Thackeray’s private mansion, ‘Matoshree.’
As an independent media platform, we do not take advertisements from governments and corporate houses. It is you, our readers, who have supported us on our journey to do honest and unbiased journalism. Please contribute, so that we can continue to do the same in future.