Fadnavis Delivers Hindutva Message With A Punch Ahead Of BMC Polls
Context: The Leader of the Opposition in the Maharashtra Assembly, Devendra Fadnavis, sounded the poll bugle in the run-up to the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) elections with a public address at the ‘Hindi Bhashi Mahasankalp Sabha’ at Goregaon.
He attacked the ruling Shiv Sena’s misgovernance as well as doublespeak on Hindutva in one of his most fiery speeches.
Attack on Misgovernance: Fadnavis, speaking in Hindi and Marathi, raised the issue of corruption during the Covid-19 pandemic, the 1.5-lakh Covid-19 toll, Palghar lynching, the arrest of state Home Minister Anil Deshmukh in a money laundering case, and the alleged association of state minister Nawab Malik with Dawood Ibrahim, among others.
Fadnavis likened the Shiv Sena government to the ‘Babri structure of power’, claiming that he would ensure the edifice is brought down. He claimed that Uddhav Thackeray was the only chief minister in the country who did not come out of his palatial home to meet the people, farmers, and migrants reeling under the effects of Covid-19, financial crisis, and starvation in the past two and half years.
Invoking Maratha Pride: The rally began with the recitation of the Hanuman Chalisa. Fadnavis chided Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray for arresting the independent Member of Parliament, Navneet Rana, and Member of Legislative Assembly Ravi Rana while allowing All India Majli-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen (AIMIM) president Akbaruddin Owaisi to pay respects at the tomb of Aurangzeb.
He invoked the memory of Chhatrapati Sambhaji Maharaj, the eldest son of Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj, who was tortured and executed by Aurangzeb for his refusal to accept Islam. He added that Bal Thackeray would have never thought that with his son at the helm, reciting the Hanuman Chalisa would be considered an act of sedition while paying homage to the barbarian ruler Aurangzeb would be considered protocol.
Responding to the charge made by the Maharashtra Chief Minister that Fadnavis was not present when the Babri mosque was being demolished, Fadnavis said when he was behind bars at the Badaun jail for offering karseva, he did not meet any Shiv Sainik.
He also told the gathering that he was the youngest corporator, at 21 years of age, when he took part in the Ayodhya movement.
Debunking Shiv Sena’s Claims: Once again responding to the claims made by Uddhav Thackeray about separating Mumbai from Maharashtra, Fadnavis said nobody can separate Mumbai from the state. The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) only wants to separate Mumbai from Shiv Sena’s corruption, anarchy, and malpractices.
Bottom line: Fadnavis came down heavily on the Maha Vikas Aghadi government. He did not mince words while criticising Shiv Sena for turning its back on the core ideology of Hindutva to please its alliance partners. With his speech, he has set the BJP’s agenda in the state, which is said to be corruption-free governance and an uncompromising approach towards issues concerning Hindus and Maratha pride.
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