Mumbai, Oct 5 (IANS) Maharashtra Navnirman Sena (MNS) President Raj Thackeray attacked Prime Minister Narendra Modi again on Thursday, asking “how long will he (PM) continue to tell lies” to the country.
Addressing a rally after taking out a massive procession to Churchgate to demand better facilities for Mumbai commuters after last week’s stampede killed 23 commuters, Thackeray said the country was being pushed into crises on all fronts, brought about by the Bharatiya Janata Party government.
“Modi has been lying and misleading the people of this country. Now I realize that when I visited Gujarat a few years ago at the behest of (industrialist) Ratan Tata when Modi was the CM, I was shown a misleading picture of the development there,” Thackeray said to cheers.
He reiterated that the people of the country had lost faith in Modi, who “only keeps giving speeches daily – how much is he going to speak?”
In an exasperated tone, Thackeray said that “now whenever Modi comes on TV, we feel like switching it off, but then he starts his ‘Mann Ki Baat’ on the radio”.
Calling the PM “a liar”, he said that like the people of the country, Thackeray said he believed and had faith in Modi, but now “we have been betrayed” and there is so much anger among the masses.
Targetting BJP President Amit Shah, who had once said the election statement of depositing Rs 15 lakh in every Indian’s bank account was a ‘jumla’ or an electoral stunt, he said that it meant they “cheated the people of the country”.
He also gave an earful to Shipping Minister Nitin Gadkari who once said that the slogan of ‘Achhe Din’ had stuck in the BJP’s throat, proving to be very troublesome, and ‘Achhe Din’ would never come.
Attacking the Bullet Train proposal, Thackeray wondered for whom it was intended. “It will benefit only the people of Gujarat, but the loan of Rs 1.08 lakh crore will be repaid by all the people of the country who have nothing to do with the project.”
He alleged that Suresh Prabhu was ejected as Railway Minister because he opposed the Bullet Train and Piyush Goyal brought in to facilitate it.
The MNS leader claimed he was “the first to oppose the mega-project” before other “parrots” started talking about it, indirectly referring to his cousin and Shiv Sena President Uddhav Thackeray.
Training guns on the Western Railway and Central Railway which runs the lifeline of Mumbai, the suburban trains network, Thackeray demanded that “within 15 days all hawkers, encroachments and obstacles” to commuters must be removed from all railway station premises to prevent recurrences of another tragedy like the September 29 stampede.
“If you fail within this ultimatum, then on the 16th day, my MNS men will do it. After that the railways shall be directly responsible for whatever be the repercussions,” he warned amidst thunderous applause.
He also warned that Thursday’s procession was a peaceful one, but if there is no if there is no change, the next one would be otherwise.