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Assembly polls a battle for survival of Maharashtra’s identity: Thackeray

Thackeray led a scathing attack against Chief Minister Eknath Shinde saying that the traitors have won by stealth…reports Asian Lite News

Shiv Sena-UBT President and former Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray on Sunday said that the Lok Sabha election was the battle for the country and to safeguard the Constitution while the upcoming Assembly election is a battle for the survival of Maharashtra’s identity and pride.

“The Assembly election is going to decide what will be the identity of Maharashtra that will be written in history. Do you want Maharashtra’s identity as a state of saints, Lord Shiva, and fighters or do you want a Maharashtra of traitors, the powerless, and rogues? I will fight and not allow Maharashtra to be identified as the state of traitors, of the helpless, and rogues,” he said in his address at the Shiv Sankalp Yatra at Sambhajinagar where the party nominee Chandrakant Khaire lost to Shiv Sena candidate and state minister Sandipan Bhumre in the Lok Sabha election.

Thackeray led a scathing attack against Chief Minister Eknath Shinde saying that the traitors have won by stealth.

“They stole the Shiv Sena and the party symbol of bow and arrow to grab power. Their policy is to stick to power despite being recognised as traitors. However, my policy is that I will never commit treachery though I lose the power,’” he asserted.

Thackeray said Shinde-led Shiv Sena used his father and Shiv Sena founder Balasaheb Thackeray’s photos along with bow and arrow during the poll campaign to seek votes.

“Many people told me that they voted for the bow and arrow symbol because Shiv Sena UBT’s torch symbol reached the people quite late. Now we have to burn their sins with the torch,” he added.

Thackeray strongly criticised the Shinde government’s freebies and sops to various sections including women, girls, farmers, and youth in the state budget, saying that they have been announced with an eye on the Assembly election.

“I always say, there is a drought of plans and a drought of execution. The veil of sins of this government has been torn. This government wants to hide under the cover of various schemes. Farmers’ suicides have not stopped yet. When I was the Chief Minister, I had announced a complete debt waiver for farmers. It may be my stupidity,” he said.

Thackeray dared the Shinde government to waive both the pending electricity arrears and also the current electricity bills for farmers.

“Don’t just waive the electricity bills alone. Or announce that you are going to recover the arrears,” he said.

Thackeray recalled that after Balasaheb Thackeray had promised to waive electricity bills for farmers if voted to power in 2004, then Chief Minister Sushilkumar Shinde promised the same.

“The farmers were sent zero electricity bills then. The Shiv Sena lost the election as the Congress-NCP came back to power again. However, after the election, Shinde was replaced by Vilasrao Deshmukh as the Chief Minister but after that, the free electricity decision was revoked as the farmers were sent inflated bills,” he recalled.

Thackeray said he deliberately chose Sambhajinagar to launch his state-wide Yatra to tell the traitors that Shiv Sena-UBT will win it next time.

“I am sorry that there is no MP of the Shiv Sena-UBT though it was our winning seat. The Modi government was to win with 400 plus but in Maharashtra, we have brought them (BJP) to 9. I am a fighter, I have come to Sambhajinagar with the desire that I will win again,” he asserted.

Meanwhile, a large number of activists including BJP leader and former Deputy Mayor Raju Shinde joined the Shiv Sena-UBT in Thackeray’s presence.

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