Uddhav Thackeray was addressing foundation day for the first time since a split in the Shiv Sena and collapse of his government last year.
Shiv Sena UBT chief Uddhav Thackeray during a celebration of the 57th anniversary of Shiv Sena at Sanmukthanand Hall, in Mumbai on Monday.(ANI)
Shiv Sena (UBT) president Uddhav Thackeray on Monday hit out at Prime Minister Narendra Modi for not visiting the strife-torn Manipur as he took on the Bharatiya Janata Party during an event in Mumbai to mark the 57th foundation day of the Shiv Sena. Thackeray said the “double engine” government – a term often used by BJP to refer to the party being in power at the Centre as well as in a state – has got “derailed” in Manipur but the prime minister is going to America.
“When I asked why Prime Minister Narendra Modi is not visiting the burning Manipur, but is keen on going to the US, I was countered with arguments like ‘one should not spit at the Sun’. If your ‘guru’ is like the Sun, then why he is not shining over Manipur?” he asked.
Manipur has been in the grip of ethnic clashes since May 3 over a court-proposed tweak to the state’s reservation matrix, granting scheduled tribe (ST) status to the former. Army and paramilitary forces have been deployed to restore peace in the northeastern state. The state government has imposed a curfew in 11 districts and banned internet access in a bid to stop the spread of rumours in the state.
“Where is the double-engine government (in Manipur)? It seems it has got derailed. Only one engine (a reference to Union home minister Amit Shah) visited Manipur, where is the other one,” he asked, taking a dig at Modi.
“Our Hindutva did not tell us to be happy when BJP leaders are getting attacked in Manipur. Be it Kashmir or Manipur, if Hindus are getting attacked, then BJP’s Hindutva ideology has failed,” the former Maharashtra chief minister said.
Thackeray referred to a social media post by Lt Gen L Nishikanta Singh (retired) from Manipur, who compared the northeastern state’s current situation with Libya, Lebanon, Nigeria and Syria.
“We are not happy when a BJP state minister’s home (RK Ranjan Sigh) is torched. This is not the teaching of our Hindutva. Our Hindutva is that if a region of the country is burning, no BJP supporter should face the heat of it,” the ShivSena (UBT) chief asserted.