Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray on Saturday dared BJP to topple the Maha Vikas Aghadi government in Maharashtra. A visibly relaxed Thackeray, who was accompanied by NCP chief Sharad Pawar, in his address at the farmers rally in Jalgaon district led a blistering attack against its former ally BJP for its repeated statements that the MVA government will fall soon under its own weight due to internal contradictions.
He ridiculed BJP for planning out ''Operation Lotus'' on the lines of Karnataka in the state to unseat the MVA government while reminding the BJP that the voters have already thrown them out of power. ''It is my challenge to BJP to topple the MVA government. People are happy with the new government,'' he noted. Thackeray said the government is on firm footing and is taking a slew of decisions to scale up development of the state, making farmers loan-free, creating jobs for youths and achieving welfare of all sections of people.
Thackeray took swipe against BJP for declaring that there will be a midterm poll by December reiterating that the MVA government is on a firm footing and it does not pose any threat. He clarified that Shiv Sena is not power hungry but now in the driver's seat with new allies. ''It is so sad that those (without naming BJP) who were Shiv Sena's partners for more than 25 years never showed confidence in my leadership. However, new allies (NCP and Congress) have shown it immediately when three parties decided to come together for government formation,'' he noted.
Thackeray's attack coincides with BJP's two-day meet at Navi Mumbai to decide strategy for the ensuing election to the Navi Mumbai Municipal Corporation and also to work out a road map for the organisational build-up. He told the gathering that the voters have freed Muktainagar (in Jalgaon district) from the dominance of BJP veteran Eknath Khadse after his daughter and party nominee Rohini Khadse lost to an independent Chandrakant Nimba Patil. Incidentally, Patil had extended his support to Shiv Sena immediately after his election in October last year.
Further, Thackeray chose to take on BJP a day after Pawar expressed unhappiness over Thackeray's decision to hand over Elgar Parishad case to the National Investigation Agency (NIA). His message to BJP was ''all is well'' among the alliance partners and BJP should not indulge into poaching.
Meanwhile, Khadse ruled out the possibility of midterm poll in Maharashtra. He, however, said differences among MVA alliance partners are surfacing and their alliance will break due to internal rifts.