Mumbai: Contrary to speculation, Shiv Sena President Uddhav Thackeray avoided rocking the Maharashtra government, and remained content with making a sharp attack at ally Bharatiya Janata Party and Prime Minister Narendra Modi in his Dussehra speech here on Saturday.
As the massive crowds and all top party office-bearers waited with bated breath for a dramatic announcement, Thackeray continued to criticize the government on various counts.
He made a special reference to Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh Chief Mohan R. Bhagwat's speech this morning, warning the Central government about granting asylum to Myanmar's displaced Rohingya Muslims.
The Sena chief said it was a very important statement with bearings on India's own security and said even a Muslim nation like Bangladesh has refused to accept the Rohingya Muslims.
"I appeal to the President and Prime Minister of Bangladesh to please take away the lakhs of illegal Bangladeshis living in India, for our safety and security... we even don't need them," Thackeray said.
Paying tributes to the 23 Mumbai commuters who lost their lives in Friday's stampede, he reiterated his opposition to the Bullet Train and said instead the funds should be diverted to improve the suburban railway networks.
"Modi has shown only dreams of 'achhe din' so far, has done nothing for anybody except harass all the people in the country by his policies. Why should the Bullet Train run between Mumbai-Ahmedabad, why not Kashmir-to-Kanyakumari, or New Delhi to other metro? They say we will get it (Bullet Train) 'free', so if you get free, will you even take a cobra?" he demanded.
Thackeray renewed attack on the BJP on demonetization, abandoning Hindutva, questioned its policy on cow slaughter, the zooming inflation inflamed by the continuous fuel prices hike, the growing unemployment, distress in rural India, the problems of youth, the dual stand on issues of singing Vande Mataram, failure to revoke the Article 370 in Jammu & Kashmir where the BJP is a ruling partner and others.
He warned the government to mend its ways "since everybody is now speaking out against you, your leaders like Yeshwant Sinha and Shatrughan Sinha, even your MPs, and the social media on the strength of which you came to power" since only 20 months are left before the next parliamentary elections.