Mumbai, Oct 8 (IANS) Shiv Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray on Tuesday lavished praises on Union Home Minister and Bharatiya Janata Party President Amit Shah for the decision to abrogate the Constitution’s Article 370 which gave special status to Jammu & Kashmir.
Addressing his customary annual Dussehra Rally, he described Shah as “a person who lives up to his words” and said the scrapping of Article 370 was a dream of the party’s founder, the later Balasaheb Thackeray.
“Amitbhai does what he says. By scrapping Article 370, the dream of Balasaheb Thackeray has been fulfilled. Now we want the Uniform Civil Code,” Thackeray said.
Greeting people on the occasion of Dassehra, he said that this day is celebrated for Lord Ram killing the demon king Ravana.
“This means Lord Ram existed. So it is our demand that a temple of Lord Ram should come up in his birthplace, Ayodhya. We are not seeking votes in the name of the temple, but because it is the desire of all countrymen and the Hindus,” Thackeray said at Shivaji Park.
He committed that in its next tenure, the BJP-Sena alliance government’s performance would be akin to ‘Ram Rajya’.
Dismissing allegations from some quarters that the Sena had “compromised” and “bent” in the seat-sharing with BJP, the Sena chief said that the alliance was for Hindutva, and such adjustments are a part and parcel of any alliance.
“Nobody can make the Sena bend before them. Before I take every decision, I think how my Shiv Sainiks would react to it. Our alliance is honest. We want to fly the saffron flag over Maharashtra Legislature… I apologise to all those who have lost their seats due to the alliance,” Thackeray said.
Attacking the Opposition, he vowed to target them as long as they singled him out for attacks, but said the Sena never indulges in “vendetta politics”, which was once done when the Congress had filed a court case against the late Bal Thackeray.
Ridiculing the statement by former Union Minister and Chief Minister Sushilkumar Shinde earlier on Tuesday, that both Congress-NCP are now tired and could merge in future, he said: “They are tired of what? What have done all these years? Recently, (NCP leader) Ajit Pawar shed crocodile tears, but it was his own deeds (karma) which has caught up and made him cry.”
Outlining the party’s manifesto, he said youths would be provided jobs on priority, there will be complete waiver of all farms loans, the poor would be given a meal for Rs 10 a plate and full medical checkups would be conducted for Re 1.
Present on the occasion were top leaders including former Chief Minister and Lok Sabha Speaker Manohar Joshi, son Aditya who is contesting from Worli seat, wife Rashmi, ministers, MPs, legislators and other party functioneries.