Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray on Sunday slammed the BJP over its poll promise of free Covid-19 vaccines in Bihar and dared the former ally to topple his 11-month-old government in the state.
"You promise free Covid-19 vaccine in Bihar. Then are people of other states from Bangladesh or Kazakhtan," Thackeray said. "Those speaking like that should be ashamed of themselves. You are at the Centre," he added.
Thackeray was speaking at the Sena's annual Dussehra rally, which was held at the Savarkar hall in Dadar this time due to coronavirus norms instead of the usual venue, the sprawling Shivaji Park.
“It has been a year now. Since the day I became the CM, it was being said that the state government will be toppled. I challenge and say that if you have the courage, do it and show,” the Sena chief said.
In a veiled attack on Governor Bhagat Singh Koshyari, Thackeray questioned the credentials of those who sought to enquire about his 'Hindutva', referring to the recent letter controversy in which Koshyari had questioned whether the Sena leader has turned “secular”.
"Our 'Hindutva' is far older and different from your 'Hindutva'. The late Balasaheb Thackeray spoke about it when others were even scared to utter the word. I have pounced once, if needed will pounce again," Thackeray warned.
Taking a swipe at the state’s BJP leaders, Thackeray advised them to listen carefully to RSS Chief Mohan Bhagwat's Vijaya Dashami speech. "Our 'Hindutva' is not limited to deities, temples or pujas or ringing bells or banging thaalis. Our 'Hindutva' itself is our nationalism. You enacted a cow protection law in Maharashtra, why not in Goa," he asked.
"Shiv Sena had demanded to make Mohan Bhagwat the president, but they have joined hands with Nitish Kumar's party in Bihar which wanted no truck with anybody connected with RSS. Don't play political games of 'iski topi, uske sar' in the name of 'Hindutva'," Thackeray said.
In another veiled attack, this time on actress Kangana Ranaut, Thackeray said some people come to Mumbai for bread and butter and abuse the city by calling it Pakistan occupied Kashmir (PoK).
"Those crying for justice for Bihar's son are indulging in character assassination of Maharashtra's son," Thackeray said, breaking his silence on allegations against his son Aaditya Thackeray in the Sushant Singh Rajput death case.
Thackeray said the time has come to reconsider the present GST system and if necessary, to modify it as states are not benefiting from this system. "We (Maharashtra) are yet to get our Rs 38,000 crore as GST refund," he said.
"From all this, it appears that the GST system is proving to be a hoax. It is time to review the present form of GST as the states are not benefitting. If it is not working, the Prime Minister should honestly admit it and bring back the old system of taxation," Thackeray said.