MUMBAI: Shiv Sena (UBT) leader Uddhav Thackeray on Tuesday dubbed Maharashtra deputy chief minister Devendra Fadnavis a ”worthless” home minister after a woman worker from the Thackeray-led faction was allegedly attacked by activists of rival Shiv Sena, and sought his resignation.
Fadnavis hit back, saying Thackeray was a ”weak” chief minister who had sacrificed his ideology for the sake of power and need not be given importance.
Thackeray, his wife Rashmi, and son Aaditya Thackeray met the injured woman at a hospital in Thane city, the bastion of his bete noire Eknath Shinde who toppled the MVA government last June to become the chief minister by joining hands with BJP.
Talking to reporters, Thackeray said the woman party worker was kicked in her stomach despite her pleading that she was undergoing fertility treatment.
”Maharashtra has got a worthless home minister. A helpless and servile man is the home minister here. He was not ready to act when his own party men were attacked by the ‘Mindhe’ (a term Thackeray’s party uses for Chief Minister Eknath Shinde) group.
”Should one call him (Shinde) the chief minister or a goonda mantri? I am not saying that, but people will decide. They should have a minister in charge of the goonda department when they expand their cabinet,” Thackeray said.
He said the state home minister should resign immediately and also targeted the Thane police commissioner calling him ”useless” for allegedly not acting against those who attacked Shiv Sena (UBT) workers.
Thackeray said Shiv Sainiks and the common people are capable of uprooting the BJP-Shiv Sena combine from Thane.
Speaking in Nagpur, Fadnavis said Thackeray was a ”weak” chief minister who couldn’t ask two ministers in his cabinet who were jailed to resign, an apparent reference to Anil Deshmukh and Nawab Malik (both NCP MLAs).
”I can reply to him (Thackeray) in the same language, but I won’t use that kind of language. Uddhav Thackeray is frustrated. He was chief minister for two-and-a-half years but he never stepped out of his residence. He did all his work from home and never went among people, and people know about it,” he said. Thackeray was ”so weak” that he could not ask the two ministers who were jailed to resign because he was scared of losing his post, the senior BJP leader said.
Thackeray became chief minister in November 2019 after Shiv Sena (undivided) joined hands with the NCP and Congress to form a Maha Vikas Aghadi (MVA) government, which collapsed in June 2022.
Fadnavis said the people of Maharashtra and the country know him (Thackeray) as the chief minister who reinstated blackmailer (Sachin) Waze into the police force and tried to save him.
The BJP leader said he didn’t give importance to the person who abandoned ideology for the CM’s post. ”The person (Thackeray) who stayed at home for two-and-a-half years should not teach us politics and should not test our patience,” he said. Thackeray also claimed that the Thane police commissioner was not present in the office when he went to meet him. Shiv Sena (UBT) activists will take out a morcha on Wednesday which will be led by Aaditya Thackeray to the police commissioner’s office, and lock it, he said.
”Fadnavis has no moral right to remain in office. If he (Fadnavis) is left with any shame, he should immediately dismiss the Thane police commissioner or transfer him and bring in a police officer who can control the law and order situation. Days after the attack on the woman party worker, no FIR has been registered so far,” Thackeray said. Targeting Shinde, he alleged the chief minister unleashes hooligans against Opposition activists in the state.
”Going by the recent incidents wherein a BJP worker and a Congress worker were beaten up and a journalist being threatened, the observation of the Supreme Court that the Maharashtra government is impotent is proving right,” Thackeray said, adding Shiv Sainiks will not sit quietly. Meanwhile, separate press conferences were held by Shiv Sena spokesperson Naresh Mhaske and a woman leader- both loyalists of CM Shinde- who dismissed the attack claim (by the woman Shiv Sena (UBT) worker) as a drama for public sympathy. Fadnavis further targeted Thackeray, saying, ”You put photos of PM Modi and win elections with us but your greed for power makes you join hands with the Opposition. Now, everybody knows who is ‘fadtoos’ (worthless) in the true sense”.
The Shiv Sena (undivided) and BJP had been in power from 2014 to 2019 with Fadnavis as the chief minister. Fadnavis said he would continue to be the home minister. ”I had been the state home minister for five years. Some people are praying that my portfolio is removed. Many people are uncomfortable because I still hold the home ministry. But I will continue to hold the home portfolio as I am not here because of their (Opposition’) favour,” he said.
Speaking on the alleged attack on the woman Shiv Sena (UBT) worker, Fadnavis said the matter will be probed without bias and there is no need to politicise it. When asked if he was being targeted deliberately, Fadnavis invoked Chanakya, an ancient Indian polymath and royal advisor.
”Chanakya had once said that whenever thieves, dacoits or bad elements in the society speak against the king, then you can safely assume that the king is doing the right thing. I am not a king but you would know what Chanakya has said is turning out to be true,” he added.
Source: Press Trust of India