MUMBAI: Daring BJP to topple his government, Maharashtra chief minister Uddhav Thackeray on Friday accused the Centre of defaming the state with drug hauls and arrest of celebrities.
“At a time when companies are leaving China, and Maharashtra is trying to attract them, even during the pandemic, they are trying to defame the state by making drug hauls and catching some celebrities,” he said addressing Shiv Sena’s annual Dussehra rally in Sion.
“They send CSR funds to Gujarat, central departments are giving funds to RSS and pro-BJP organisations… they are talking as if there are drugs in every corner here, and are sniffing out a few grams of drugs, but drugs worth crores are found at the Mundra port in Gujarat,” Thackeray said.
He praised Mumbai police for seizing drugs of Rs 150 crore, “while they (NCB) made a big thing about sniffing a few grams and taking photos with celebrities who were caught”.
Thackeray, who heads a three-party alliance which has central investigating agencies such as ED and I-T breathing down its neck, said that under the Constitution, states and the Centre enjoy equal powers and states don’t have to genuflect before the Centre. He alleged that the BJP-led Centre was trying to destabilise Maharashtra by resorting to I-T raids to ‘fix’ the state’s leaders.
Demanding an end to “interference” by the central government in day-to-day functioning, Thackeray called for an open debate on the federal structure to sharply define Centre-state ties within the broad framework of the Constitution.
In a broadside intended to burnish his own saffron credentials, Thackeray said Hindutva was not under threat from anyone else but from neo-Hindus who were exploiting the term to come to power. “They are now adopting the British policy of divide and rule to remain in power.”
Seeking to draw a distinction between the RSS worldview and the politics practised by BJP, Thackeray stressed that he was not criticising RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat. He said Sena’s Hindutva and that of RSS was identical.
Original posted at timesofindia.indiatimes.com