BJP, Shiv Sena slam former CM Thackeray over ‘taint’ jibe at Fadnavis

Mumbai: Maharashtra Deputy Chief Minister and BJP leader Devendra Fadnavis on Tuesday hit out at Shiv Sena (UBT) chief Uddhav Thackeray over the latter’s taint jibe, saying it seems the former CM needs some psychiatric treatment due to the ongoing political situation in the state.

Addressing his party workers in Nagpur, the home turf of Fadnavis, Thackeray on Monday said the BJP leader, his former ally, was a taint on the city as he had aligned with a section of the NCP despite asserting that he would never do so.

Playing an old audio clip of Fadnavis stating that he would never join hands with the NCP, Thackeray said the BJP leader’s no means yes .

Asked about Thackeray’s critical comments, Fadnavis said, It pains me to see the Opposition and former friend (Thackeray) facing the impact of current political developments. I think he might need to consult a psychiatrist.

With the BJP coming out with a strong reaction to his comments, Thackeray said don’t the leaders of the national party also accuse others of corruption and throw taint jibe at them? The former CM said key Shiv Sena (UBT) leaders like Sanjay Raut and Anil Parab are being troubled by the BJP.

“When you accuse everyone of corruption and taint them, and then sit next to them in the cabinet, then how will that family face society,” Thackeray said in an apparent reference to NCP leader and newly-inducted state minister Hasan Mushrif.

One of the nine NCP ministers to take oath on July 2, Mushrif had been under the Enforcement Directorate (EC) lens and linked to alleged financial irregularity in a sugar factory controlled by his family.

“They got furious with my one word, but they destroy a family by levelling allegations. Are they troubling (Shiv Sena UBT leaders) Sanjay Raut and Anil Parab any less?” Thackeray asked.

Hitting out at Thackeray, Chief Minister Eknath Shinde said those who abandoned Shiv Sena founder Bal Thackeray’s ideals and “tainted” his name are calling Fadnavis “tainted”.

In a tectonic shift in the state’s political landscape, NCP leader Ajit Pawar and eight of his colleagues joined the Eknath Shinde government on July 2, splitting the Sharad Pawar-founded party. While Ajit Pawar was made a deputy chief minister, the others were sworn in as cabinet ministers.

Fadnavis said, It is unfair to react to a person who makes allegations because of his current psychological condition. His current mental status is such that we should try to understand it. It is better not to react to what he is saying..

Several BJP leaders have come out in support of Fadnavis after Thackeray’s stinging attack on him.

Pravin Darekar, former Leader of Opposition in the Maharashtra Legislative Council and BJP MLC said, Thackeray himself has diluted Hindutva by betraying the BJP. He himself is a blot on Hindutva. He cannot make such comments on our leaders.

State BJP president Chandrashekhar Bawankule and another BJP MLC Pravin Datke also hit out at Thackeray, who snapped ties with the national party in 2019.

The language used by Thackeray against Fadnavis is unacceptable. We challenge him to visit Nagpur again. People will hit him with footwear, Bawankule said.

The BJP also took to Facebook to launch an attack on Thackeray. It said on the social media platform, Uddhav Thackeray should have seen his own face in the mirror before making such unacceptable comments against Fadnavis. You would have seen a corruption-ridden face in the mirror.

The Facebook post added, You have gone crazy. Only you can use the pedestrian language. You are the taint of Maharashtra. You need to be treated in a mental hospital.

Earlier in the day, BJP workers in Nagpur held a protest against Thackeray, while the party’s youth wing, Bharatiya Janata Yuva Morcha, took out a mock funeral procession of the Shiv Sena (UBT) chief.

The Bharatiya Janata Party’s legal cell submitted an application to the police in Nagpur seeking action against the Shiv Sena (UBT) president over his taint jibe directed at Fadnavis.