Taking on Prime Minister Narendra Modi, MNS chief Raj Thackeray on Wednesday said the Prime Minister was misleading the public by displaying concern for soldiers even as he was sharing the dais with BJP MLC Prashant Paricharak, who had made derogatory comments against soldiers' wives a couple of years ago, at his election rally at Akluj on Wednesday.
"BJP legislator Paricharak had made derogatory comments against soldiers and their wives but the BJP has not suspended the legislator till now. In fact, the same legislator was on the dais from where Modi delivered his election speech in Akluj today," he said.
Thackeray, who was addressing a rally in Satara, said while campaigning for the 2014 Lok Sabha elections, Narendra Modi had questioned then Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on how the terrorists were entering the country and securing funds, when the PM had all the power to ensure security of the country. "I think now Modi has to answer on how the terrorist managed to get the explosives used in the Pulwama attack that killed 40 soldiers…," he said.
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Thackeray said the number of soldiers who have died in the last five years was higher than ever before. "More soldiers have died during Modi's rule, but the Prime Minister was feeding cake to then Pakistan Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif by making an unscheduled visit to Pakistan. He should have considered the feelings of family members of martyred soldiers… what they felt when they saw Modi feeding cake to Sharif," he said.
Thackeray said the voters should not get carried away as Modi was seeking votes in the name of soldiers. "It is shameful that the Prime Minister seeks vote in the name of martyred soldiers," he said.
He pointed out that Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan had had stated that there may be a better chance of peace talks with India and "some kind of settlement in Kashmir" if the BJP wins the Lok Sabha elections, adding, "What is the deal between the two?"
The series of events after the Pulwama terror attack raised doubts that everything was planned ahead of the elections, said Thackeray, adding that "false information" was being spread by the ruling party to take credit of counter-attack by Indian forces on terrorists.
Raising the issue of farmers' plight in the state, the MNS chief said 14,000 farmers had committed suicide in the last five years, atrocities against women were on the rise and several people had lost their jobs in the last five years.
The MNS chief said the voters needed to be alert while exercising their right to vote as the "duo", Modi and BJP president Amit Shah, would "destroy the country if re-elected to power".
Earlier, a day after MNS president Raj Thackeray had held a rally in Nanded, the state BJP on April 14 had moved the EC, urging it to add the expenses of Thackeray's rallies to the expenditure account of the Congress-NCP combine.