Udhav slams Modi’s US visit while Manipur is burning

Mumbai: Shiv Sena (UBT) president Uddhav Thackeray on Sunday criticised Prime Minister Narendra Modi over his scheduled visit to the US, and asked why he was going abroad instead of visiting Manipur to resolve the crisis in the violence-hit north-eastern state..

Addressing a state-level convention of his party, the first since the rebellion split Shiv Sena last year, he also dared the Bharatiya Janata Party-led central government to implement the Uniform Civil Code (UCC) in the country.

“One part of our country is in the grip of violence and Modi hasn’t gone there or taken steps to resolve the crisis, but is going to America,” Thackeray said.

The PM will be going on a state visit to the US and Egypt from June 20 to 25.

Thackeray alleged that there have been claims that PM Modi stopped the Russia-Ukraine war.

“So Modi should stop the violence in Manipur and restore peace and then we will believe these claims,” he added.

More than 100 people have lost their lives in the ethnic violence between Meitei and Kuki community people in Manipur that broke out more than a month ago..

The former CM said he will go to Patna on June 23 for the meeting of non-BJP parties.

“These is not opposition parties that are meeting there, but the parties that are nationalists, who love their country and want to protect its independence and democracy,’ he said.

He said Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar had visited him at ‘Matoshree’ (Thackeray’s personal residence) and invited him for the meeting.

“Earlier, only BJP leaders used to visit ‘Matoshree’, but now all parties, except BJP, have realised the importance of Shiv Sena. All parties who love the country should come together to stop the BJP,” he said.

Thackeray also questioned why elections were not being held in Kashmir despite the abrogation of Article 370 years ago.

“So many years have passed since the abrogation of Article 370, but why elections are not being held and why are Hindus unsafe there,” he asked.

Article 370, which gave special status to Jammu and Kashmir, was abrogated on August 5, 2019, and the erstwhile state was bifurcated into two union territories – Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh.

Thackeray dared the BJP to bring the UCC. .

He wondered if it could not implement the ban on cow slaughter in the entire country, how can the UCC be implemented..

The Law Commission recently said it has decided to look at the need for a UCC afresh and seek the views of stakeholders, which include the members of the public and religious organisations.

Targetting Deputy Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis for seeking his comment on the removal of chapters on late Hindutva ideologue V D Savarkar and RSS founder K B Hedgewar from school textbooks in Karnataka, Thackeray referred to the recent advertisement by Maharashtra CM Eknath Shinde and said Fadnavis’s condition is such that he can neither tolerate the insult he is being subjected to nor complain about it either.

A newspaper advertisement published recently projected CM Shinde as being more popular in the state than his deputy Fadnavis.

Referring to the Karnataka text books row, he said many members of the text book board had resigned saying the text books given to students were not the ones approved by them, he said.

He said June 20 would be observed as the ‘World Traitors’ Day’, a reference to the rebellion led by Eknath Shinde, and said their “betrayal” should not be forgotten..

The Shiv Sena split in June last year after Eknath Shinde and 39 other party MLAs rebelled against then Uddhav Thackeray and toppled the Maha Vikas Aghadi coalition government of the Sena, NCP and Congress.

Shinde later became chief minister with the BJP’s support and the Election Commission of India subsequently granted his faction the original party name and ‘bow and arrow’ symbol, while the Thackeray group was named Shiv Sena (Uddhav Balasaheb Thackeray).

Speaking about it, Thackeray said, the real Shiv Sena belonged to him.

“You may steal MPs and MLAs, but not trusted and loyal supporters. Shiv Sena has shown people that it can run the administration efficiently. I took the chief minister’s post as a challenge and today when I meet people they tell me that they consider me as a family member,” he said.

If the country needs to be stable, should the government be unstable, he asked.

“Alliance governments were run well but under the current majority government, the country has become unstable,” Thackeray alleged.

Nobody can be bigger than the nation, he said and criticised CM Shinde for saying “this is Modi’s India”.

The BJP is on the path of Hitler and our job is to get inspired by revolutionaries, he said.

On the controversy over the dialogues in the recently-released film “Adipurush” based on the Ramayana, Thackeray said Bajrang Bali had set BJP’s chair of power in Karnataka on fire.

“I want to thank people of Karnataka for resisting these Bahubalis,” he said.

The Congress last month won the Karnataka Assembly polls by defeatig the BJP, which was ruling the state. During the poll campaign in that state, PM Modi had urged the people of to say ‘Jai Bajrangbali’ when they cast their vote to “punish” the Congress for its “culture of abuse”.

Referring to the issue of Karnataka text books, he said many members of text book board had resigned saying the text books given to students are not the ones approved by them.

Earlier, party leader Aaditya Thackeray asked Sena (UBT) workers to take a pledge to defeat the Shiv Sena rebels right from panchayat level to the Lok Sabha.

Party spokesperson Sanjay Raut exhorted the cadres to work for the party ‘s victory on its own.

He referred to the Eknath Shinde and his party leaders as “wolves in tiger skin”.