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Uddhav, Shinde address Shiv Sena foundation day events, attack each other

Source: PTI
June 19, 2023 23:15 IST
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Both the Shiv Senas – one of Maharashtra Chief minister Eknath Shinde and the other of Uddhav Thackeray – marked their foundation day on Monday, with attack on each other.

IMAGE: Uddhav Thackeray addresses the Shiv Sena (UBT) on the party's foundation day, Mumbai, June 19, 2023. Photograph: Shiv Sena (UBT) on Twitter

Shiv Sena (UBT) president Uddhav Thackeray said if Prime Minister Narendra Modi's supporters think he is like the Sun, then why is he not shining over violence-battered Manipur, and questioned his visit to the US at a time when the north-eastern state is in the grip of ethnic clashes.

Speaking at an event in Mumbai organised to mark the 57th foundation day of the Shiv Sena, he said the "double engine" government has got "derailed" in the Bharatiya Janata Party-ruled Manipur, and also took on his former ally over the issue of Hindutva.


At a parallel event in the city, Shinde charged Uddhav with discarding Bal Thackeray's ideology to join hands with the Nationalist Congress Party and Congress.

Thackeray also used the event to sharpen his attack on the BJP. “Manipur is burning but Modi is going to America,” he said ahead of the PM's visit to the US from June 21-24.

”When I asked why Prime Minister Modi is not visiting the burning Manipur, but is keen on going to the US, I was countered with arguments like 'one should spit at the Sun'. If your 'guru' is like the Sun, then why he is not shining over Manipur?" he asked.

Thackeray also took a swipe at the BJP's pitch for "double engine" governments, saying in Manipur it seems to have derailed.

”Where is the double engine government (in Manipur)? It seems it has got derailed. Only one engine (a reference to Union Home Minister Amit Shah) visited Manipur, where is the other one,” he asked,  taking a dig at Modi.

The term "double engine" is used by BJP leaders to refer to the party being in power at the Centre as well as in a state.

A large number of houses were burnt and more than 100 people have lost their lives in the ethnic violence between Meitei and Kuki community people in Manipur that broke out over a month ago.

Army and paramilitary forces have been deployed to restore peace in the north-eastern state.

Thackeray said attacks on Hindus show the failure of the BJP's Hindutva ideology.

”Our Hindutva did not tell us to be happy when BJP leaders are getting attacked in Manipur. Be it Kashmir or Manipur, if Hindus are getting attacked, then BJP's Hindutva ideology has failed,” the former Maharashtra CM said.

He ridiculed the claim by Maharashtra's deputy CM and BJP leader Devendra Fadnavis that Modi developed the anti-coronavirus vaccine.

This was the first foundation day event addressed by Thackeray after a split in the Shiv Sena and collapse of his government last year.

Keeping up his attack on Thackeray, Shinde said, "You discarded the principles of Balsaheb for power, for the sake of the chair. Balsaheb once said that he would not allow Shiv Sena to become Congress and if that happens, he will shut his shop. But today, you (Uddhav) went with NCP and Congress. This is a betrayal on your side and that truth you spoke yesterday," he said referring to the speech delivered by Uddhav during the Shiv Sena (UBT) plenary.

IMAGE: Maharashtra Chief Minister Eknath Shinde addresses the Shiv Sena foundation day, Mumbai, June 19, 2023. Photograph: ANI on Twitter

In your speech, you asked the party workers to celebrate June 20 as 'gaddar divas' (traitors' day), Shinde said.

"You fumbled when you said 'our' betrayal is completing one year. But you immediately corrected yourself and blamed those leaders who left the party last year. It is you who is a traitor but you forgot the date," he added.

Shinde said the allegations of being traitors levelled against him and other MLAs will not help Uddhav gain any public sympathy.

"You will not get the sympathy of people as you have abandoned Balsaheb's principles for power," he added.

This was the first foundation day event addressed by Shinde after he engineered a split in the Shiv Sena last year.

Bal Thackeray founded the Shiv Sena on June 19, 1966, and made the pride of `Marathi manoos' (Marathi speakers in Mumbai) the core plank of its politics.

The Shiv Sena split in June last year after Shinde and 39 other MLAs of the party rebelled against then Maharashtra chief minister Uddhav Thackeray and toppled the Maha Vikas Aghadi coalition government of the Sena, NCP and Congress.

Both the factions have now been trying to claim the mantle of the 'true inheritor' of Bal Thackeray's legacy ahead of the next year's Lok Sabha and Maharashtra assembly elections as well as the long-due civic polls in Mumbai.

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