On Tuesday, Maharashtra Chief Minister Eknath Shinde strongly criticized Uddhav Thackeray, the leader of Shiv Sena (UBT), accusing him of sacrificing Bal Thackeray’s Hindutva ideology for political power and forming alliances with Congress and socialist parties. Speaking at the Shiv Sena’s Dussehra rally in Azad Maidan, Mr. Shinde, without mentioning Uddhav Thackeray by name, alleged that he had betrayed Bal Thackeray by deviating from his ideological legacy.
Mr. Shinde also expressed concerns that Shiv Sena-UBT might form alliances with parties like the AIMIM led by Asaduddin Owaisi and even “align with terrorist organizations such as Hamas, Hizbul Mujahideen, Lashkar-e-Toiba for their personal gain and pursuit of power.”
Furthermore, he reaffirmed the state government’s commitment to providing reservations for Marathas that would withstand legal scrutiny and urged young individuals not to resort to extreme measures such as suicide.
He criticized the shift from Balasaheb Thackeray’s Hindutva ideology to alliances with Congress and Samajwadi parties for political power. Balasaheb Thackeray had famously declared “Garv se kaho hum Hindu hai” (Proudly say we are Hindus) at Shivaji Park ground, but slogans like “Garv se kaho hum Congressi and Samajwadi hai” (Proudly say we are Congressi and Samajwadi) are now being promoted from that venue, according to Mr. Shinde.
The Shiv Sena faction led by Uddhav Thackeray organized its traditional annual Dusshra rally at Shivaji Park in Dadar, which the party refers to as ‘Shivtirth.’
Mr. Shinde also mentioned that the parties that used to question the construction timeline of the Ram temple in Ayodhya, often targeting the BJP, now find themselves in an awkward position.
Before arriving at the rally venue on Tuesday night, Mr. Shinde visited Cross Maidan in south Mumbai to witness the burning of Ravan’s effigy as part of Ram Leela celebrations.
A significant number of people from various parts of the state arrived at Azad Maidan by buses, trains, and private vehicles to attend the rally.