Launching a fresh attack on Uddhav Thackeray, Union Home Minister Amit Shah on Sunday said that he and Prime Minister Narendra Modi had made it clear that Devendra Fadnavis of BJP will become chief minister of Maharashtra after the 2019 polls.
Targeting Thackeray and Shiv Sena, Shah said, "Since you wanted to become a chief minister you betrayed BJP and became CM by compromising on Hindutva for power". Addressing BJP volunteers at Pune, Shah attacked the tripartite Maha Vikas Aghadi (MVA) dispensation and dubbed Congress a "dealer", Shiv Sena a "broker" and said NCP is associated with "transfers".
Earlier, the BJP had alleged that a senior state intelligence official had exposed a racket of transfers of senior police officers in August 2020. "In the presence of PM Modi and myself, you were told that the polls were contested under the leadership of Devendra Fadnavis and that Fadnavis will become a CM again. But you wanted to become a CM so you betrayed us (BJP) and went on to become the chief minister (of Maharashtra)," Shah said while apparently referring to Thackeray.
Shah said he had come to Maharashtra before the 2019 elections. "I had held a dialogue with Shiv Sena then. I would like to reiterate today that (the Sena leadership was told that) the elections would be contested under the leadership of Devendra Fadanvis and that the CM would be from BJP, but they (Sena) reneged and compromised on Hindutva for power," he said.
“Shiv Sena compromised on Hindutva for power. Two generations (of Sena) fought against a party (Congress) and now they are sharing power with the same party. Sena betrayed BJP just for power," Shah said. The Uddhav Thackeray-led party fell out with BJP after the 2019 Assembly polls in Maharashtra and joined hands with Sharad Pawar-led NCP and Congress to form a government.
Shah said Shiv Sena accuses him of lying. "Okay, for a moment, I accept (that I was lying) but remember the banners that used to be put up during the poll campaign. Check the size of your photograph and that of Modiji's. The size of your photo was one-fourth of Modiji's photo. In every speech, you had to take the name of Modiji," Shah said, apparently referring to Thackeray.
Playing on the DBT acronym of the Direct Benefit Transfer scheme of the Modi government, Shah said in the MVA government Congress takes the 'D' for a dealer, Shiv Sena the 'B' for a broker, and NCP the 'T' for transfers. Shah said Pune is the land of Bal Gangadhar Tilak who had given a slogan that 'Swaraj is my birthright and I shall have it,' but Shiv Sena says "satta (power) is my birthright and I shall have it anyhow".
Apparently referring to the Anil Deshmukh case, Shah said big cases have been registered in connection with the commission being taken for effecting transfers (in Maharashtra) and big people have gone to jail. "This government has only two principles- to criminalise politics and do 'vasooli' (extortion)," he added. Without naming Uddhav Thackeray, Shah said he wished him good health.
"But when he was in good health, the people of Maharashtra used to search for him. Where is the government? But Modiji had held a dialogue with CMs of all states 20 times, He (Modi) also interacted with several hospitals during the pandemic and involved the people in the fight against COVID-19," he said. He said the Central government ensured that health infrastructure was expanded expeditiously during the pandemic.
"During the Congress regime, several vaccines, including for polio, were invented but they never reached people, forget about their administration. On the contrary, we are now on the verge of completing the vaccination of all people under PM Modiji," said Shah.
-With PTI Inputs