Uddhav Thackeray addresses massive rally in Khed: 'EC is Chuna lagao commission, can't take away Shiv Sena'

Uddhav Thackeray addresses massive rally in Khed: 'EC is Chuna lagao commission, can't take away Shiv Sena'

Thackeray said the poll body can never take away the party, founded by his father late Bal Thackeray, from him.

FPJ Web DeskUpdated: Sunday, March 05, 2023, 10:09 PM IST
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On Sunday, Uddhav Thackeray, the leader of Shiv Sena (UBT), addressed a massive rally in Khed constituency, located in Ratnagiri district.

Speaking on its recent decision, Thackeray criticised the Election Commission for granting the rebel faction the party's name and symbol, referring to the poll body as a "slave" of those in power.

Uddhav calls EC 'chuna lagao' commission

Despite losing the party name and election symbol "bow and arrow" to Chief Minister Eknath Shinde's faction a few weeks earlier, Thackeray stated that the poll body cannot remove the party, which was established by his late father, Bal Thackeray, from his possession. Thackeray went on to refer to the EC as a "chuna lagao" commission.

He stated that Bal Thackeray had supported the Bharatiya Janata Party during its politically marginalized phase, and he challenged the party's previous partner to solely rely on the name of Prime Minister Narendra Modi for votes in Maharashtra, without making reference to Thackeray senior.

EC can't take away Shiv Sena from me

"You (the Election Commission) have taken away the party name and the symbol from us, but you can't take away Shiv Sena from me," the former chief minister said pointing out a huge turnout at a rally, his first after losing the party name and election symbol.

"I have nothing to offer to you. I have come to seek your blessings and support," he told the gathering.

The coastal Konkan region's Khed constituency, located in Ratnagiri district, was formerly the stronghold of Ramdas Kadam, a loyalist of Thackeray, who has now pledged allegiance to the Shinde-led faction. This move dealt a significant blow to Uddhav Thackeray. Last month, the Election Commission granted the name 'Shiv Sena' and its poll symbol to the faction led by Shinde, who has the backing of the majority of Shiv Sena's MLAs. Thackeray has declared that he does not recognize the EC's ruling.

"If the Election Commission is not suffering from cataract, it should come and see the ground situation. The EC is a 'chuna lagav' commission and a slave of those in power. The principle based on which the EC took this decision is wrong,' he said.

Thackeray said the party has appealed in the Supreme Court.

BJP trying to finish Sena but won't succeed: Uddhav

He said the BJP was trying to finish off Shiv Sena brutally and cruelly but won't succeed.

He said the move to destroy Shiv Sena was akin to the attack on the unity of Marathi people as well as Hindus.

"When BJP was untouchable in politics, Balasaheb Thackeray stood by that party," the former chief minister said.

He said earlier sadhus and sants used to be part of the BJP but the party is now full of opportunists.

"The largest number of corrupt people are in BJP. First, they (BJP) accuse the people in the Opposition of corruption. However, those accused of corruption are then inducted into BJP," he said.

Dismissing the criticism that he did not venture out of his house when he was the chief minister (November 2019-June 2022), Thackeray said, "I didn't go out because of the COVID pandemic but I worked from home, and my work was praised during the pandemic".

Will accept verdict of people, not EC: Thackeray

He said his supporters will decide whether they want him as the party president and not the Election Commission.

"People will have to decide whether they want me or Eknath Shinde. I will accept the verdict of the people but not of the EC. If people say they don't want me, I will leave just like I had left 'Varsha' (the official residence of Maharashtra chief minister after resigning from the post"), he said.

Targetting BJP, he said like Eknath Shinde who "stole" my (Uddhav Thackeray's) father, the BJP has "stolen sardar Vallabhbhai Patel and Subhash Chandra Bose because that party has no icons to bank on".

"When you see someone with a bow and arrow, he is a thief. Will you vote for him (a reference to Shinde)?" he asked the audience.

"Earlier, the BJP's dais used to be full of sadhus and sants but now it is full of opportunists. I dare the BJP to seek votes in Maharashtra only in the name of Prime Minister Narendra Modi and not Balasaheb Thackeray," Thackeray added.

He appealed to his supporters to make BJP bite the dust in the elections in Maharashtra.

(With inputs from PTI)

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