Maharashtra Navnirman Sena (MNS) chief Raj Thackeray carried out a rally in Mumbai as part of his series of rallies which have turned into take downs and fact checks of the Prime Minister Narendra Modi and BJP President Amit Shah. The new big thing this time was, he named his cousin Uddhav Thackeray, something he has avoided until now.
Billionaire Mukesh Ambani has endorsed Congress candidate Milind Deora for the South Mumbai constituency where Mr Deora is pitted against sitting MP, Shiv Sena’s Arvind Sawant.
“Even though Uddhav Thackeray is close to Mukesh Ambani, he has endorsed Milind Deora,” Raj Thackeray said in a dig at his cousin, who heads the Shiv Sena, the alliance partner of the BJP in Maharashtra. “This is a message. Modi and Amit Shah’s rule is ending soon,” Raj Thackeray added.
Hitting out at the BJP for accusing him of taking orders from Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) chief Sharad Pawar, Raj Thackeray did exactly that he has been doing over the last few days in a series of rallies across the state. First, he played out a sound bite of the Prime Minister during the 2014 elections saying, “The uncle-nephew duo will be uprooted from Baramati (Sharad Pawar’s bastion).”
Seconds later he played out another sound bite, months after the election, where the Prime Minister is heard praising Mr Pawar profusely. PM Modi says, “I have no qualms admitting that I have learnt a lot in politics from Sharad Pawar.”
Suggesting that Raj Thackeray was taking orders from NCP chief Sharad Pawar, Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis had said, “Raj Thackeray was dancing at others’ weddings,” referring to his rallies which have been designed to attack the Narendra Modi-Amit Shah duo and indirectly help the Congress-NCP opposition in the state. Raj Thackeray’s own party, the MNS, has not fielded a single candidate in this election.
Raj Thackeray also fact checked another post on a pro-Narendra Modi Facebook page that talked about how the Prime Minister’s policies have been bringing relief to several families. Soon after showing the image on the electronic screen, Raj Thackeray, invited the family whose picture had been used on stage and accused the BJP of spreading lies on social media.
Whether Raj Thackeray’s rallies have actually helped the Opposition or not will be clear after the elections but with at least four more rallies scheduled, Raj Thackeray is going all out in his attack before polling in Mumbai and surrounding areas in Phase 4 on April 29. Voting across Maharashtra will conclude on April 29.