Shiv Sena President Uddhav Thackeray has challenged the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) to beat it in subsequent polls in Mumbai. Thackeray also said his party’s bond with the city was unbreakable, also lashing out at Maharashtra Chief Minister Eknath Shinde over his rebellion and for claiming his late father’s legacy.
Thackeray also accused the BJP of “lying” about the Rs 1.54 lakh crore Vedanta-Foxconn semiconductor project that has been relocated to Gujarat.
After the announcement last week that the joint venture semiconductor project of Indian conglomerate Vedanta and Taiwanese electronics giant Foxconn, previously set up near the city of Pune, will now take place in Gujarat, a debt game erupted in Maharashtra. Addressing party officials in the Goregaon suburb, Thackeray said the Center is giving huge impetus to the project after it was relocated to the neighboring BJP-ruled state.
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He said: “The Union Home Secretary Amit Shah has asked his party to show the Shiv Sena its place in Mumbai’s citizen polls. I challenge you to try. Shiv Sena’s relationship with the city was unbreakable and the party was closely linked to the everyday life of the ordinary Mumbaikars, who came to their aid when needed.”
Thackeray asked the BJP, his former ally, to tell people what his contribution was to building the metropolis, apart from the fact that it was just a piece of real estate.
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During a dig at CM Shinde, Thackeray said, “When I got on the podium here, I first checked to see if the photo of my father (Sena founder Bal Thackeray) was there. We have heard of child abduction gangs, but for the first time there is a father abduction gang.”
Shinde, who revolted against Uddhav Thackeray’s leadership in June and ran away with 39 party MLAs, has repeatedly claimed that his faction was the ‘real’ Shiv Sena and that he was promoting Bal Thackeray’s Hindutva ideology.
Elections for Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC), the country’s wealthiest civic body, are scheduled for the end of the year. The Shiv Sena has ruled the BMC for over two decades and the civil body is currently under an administrator appointed by the state government.