The MNS chief has been critical to the Modi government as the latter had changed his stand on several issues.
Mumbai: A day after the Maharashtra Navnirman Sena (MNS) backed the Congress and attacked the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and Prime Minister Narendra Modi, senior BJP leader Vinod Tawde claimed Congress leader Sanjay Nirupam had personally attacked MNS chief Raj Thackeray by calling him ‘lukhkha (a slacker)’.
“And today, MNS workers have been directed to cast their votes in favour of Mr Nirupam and the Congress. They are being oppressed,” said Mr Tawde.
The MNS chief has been critical to the Modi-led government at the Centre, as the latter had changed his stand on several counts including on the use of Aadhaar cards.
Rebutting Mr Thackeray's speech, Mr Tawde said if Mr Thackeray had taken as much pain with his political career as he had preparing the speech, he would not have to campaign for other parties (the Congress and NCP).
Mr Tawde said the engine (the MNS’ election symbol) had stopped working and he (Mr Thackeray) was trying to start it with help from other parties.
Taking a cue from Mr Thackeray’s speech, in which he had said that he was okay even if Congress president Rahul Gandhi becomes the Prime Minister, the BJP Cabinet minister said, “He should first ask NCP chief Sharad Pawar if he is okay with Rahul Gandhi as the new PM. Otherwise, his scripts will stop coming.”
In the past, BJP leaders, including chief minister Devendra Fadnavis, had earlier alleged that Mr Thackeray is a “parrot of Baramati” and his speeches were scripted from there.
Mr Tawde said that one should also recall Mr Thackeray’s previous speeches against NCP leaders Sharad Pawar, Ajit Pawar and Chhagan Bhujbal.
The MNS has already announced that they will not contest the upcoming Lok Sabha polls in the state. However, Mr Thackeray denied that he is campaigning in favour of the Congress-NCP combine in the Lok Sabha polls.