Virar: Launching a blistering attack on the Shiv Sena, Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath on Wednesday accused the Uddhav Thackeray-led party of “backstabbing” the BJP. Yogi was addressing a campaign rally for the 28 May Palghar Lok Sabha by-poll in Virar, a suburb of metropolitan Mumbai.
Virar, one of the six Assembly segments of Palghar Lok Sabha constituency, has a sizable number of north Indian voters apart from Maharashtrians.
UP CM said Shiv Sena’s actions are in complete contrast to teachings of Maratha warrior king Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj, Hindutva idol of the party.
Adityanath said the country can progress only under Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s leadership.
He targeted bickering alliance partner Shiv Sena for “poking its nose” in the BJP’s internal affairs, by fielding late MP Chintaman Wanaga’s son Srinivas for the byelection.
“The way this party has back-stabbed the BJP by fielding its own candidate…I can say that late Bal Thackeray’s soul must be in deep pain and anguish,” the Uttar Pradesh chief minister said without taking the name of the Sena.
He said the victory of BJP candidate Rajendra Gavit would be a “rich tribute” to the late Sena patriarch.
The BJP has made the bypoll a prestige issue and has been accusing the Sena of trying to hijack the legacy of late Wanaga.
Without naming Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray, Adityanath accused the saffron party of dividing Hindu votes.
“Balasaheb never believed in back-stabbing. He was a warrior who believed in fighting from the front. He worked for making the country stronger. But see what has happened. They broke up Wanaga’s family and forced him to contest the bypoll. This was an internal matter of BJP and we would have protected the self-respect of the Wanaga family,” he said.
“This bypoll won’t impact the stability of the government but it will definitely give a message that the country can progress only under Modi’s leadership,” he said.
The UP CM’s remarks came hours after JD(S) leader HD Kumaraswamy was sworn in as Karnataka chief minister at a grand ceremony attended by a galaxy of top leaders and regional satraps in a rare public show of unity perceived as a possible harbinger of a broad-based anti-BJP alliance ahead of the Lok Sabha polls next year.
“By God’s grace, the Congress has been decimated in the country,” he said, adding that the “enemies of development and good governance will also meet the same fate”.
The BJP has drafted in a battery of its leaders in Palghar. Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis is spearheading the BJP’s campaign in urban segments of the constituency. BJP leaders Manoj Tiwari, Rita Bahuguna Joshi have also addressed rallies.