Mumbai : In what can be dubbed as a ‘historical’ blunder (pun intended), Shiv Sena executive president Uddhav Thackeray seems to have forgotten what he possibly learnt by rote in his civic class. A quintessential fact about January 26 and the Indian republic — that there is no speech on R-Day, just a parade. Also, the venue of the grand parade is Rajpath in New Delhi and not the Red Fort.
At the birth anniversary function of the Sena founder, Uddhav taunted the Prime Minister saying, “January 26 is our Republic Day. This is the day the Tricolor is hoisted at the Red Fort and our Prime Minister addresses the nation. I am happy to say this will be the last Republic Day when a Congress Prime Minister will talk from the ramparts of the Red Fort, because in the next Lok Sabha election we will see the Sena-BJP alliance government at the Centre.”
The profound statement elicited a thunderous applause from his captive audience, but the gaffe was too glaring not to be noted, more so as the speech was telecast on national television.
Prakash Akolkar, the editor of Sakal, told Free Press Journal, “This is a huge blunder on Uddhav’s part. Because firstly there is no speech on Republic Day, it is only a parade. Second and, most important, it is the President who addresses the nation the previous night on Doordarshan. It is a historic mistake, no doubt.”
Manekrao Thakre, the president of Maharashtra Congress Committee, lost no time in taunting Uddhav saying his lack of sense of history reflects the influence of BJP prime ministerial candidate Narendra Modi. “Time and again Modi’s speeches have shown that he has absolutely no knowledge of history, geography and economics. By stating that the Prime Minister gives the speech from the Red Fort on Republic Day, Uddhav has tried to camouflage his mediocre knowledge and supplant it with extra ordinary information,” said Thakre.