Uddhav Compares BJP Poll Campaign in Maharashtra to Afzal Khan's Invasion
TULJAPUR: Intensifying his attack on BJP, Shiv Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray today compared the former ally's poll campaign in Maharashtra to the assault by Bijapur general Afzal Khan's army on Shivaji's dominion in the 17th century.
"What is BJP up to? First, they get the Prime Minister to campaign for them and then the entire cabinet of the PM comes here to campaign for them. These people are like the army of Afzal Khan trying to conquer this state," he said at a well-attended election rally here in central Maharashtra.
Uddhav alleged that like Afzal, BJP, too, intends to "divide the state into pieces" but warned the national party would meet the same fate as the medieval era commander.
"BJP wants to divide the state in the name of development and progress. But the people of Maharashtra will never let that happen. They (BJP) will be given a befitting reply (by the voters)," the Sena President said.
"If you want our state to be broken into pieces, then vote for BJP. But do you want that to happen?" he asked the crowd which replied in the negative with a roar.
He questioned the need for Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Home Minister Rajnath Singh, External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj and several BJP Chief Ministers to campaign for the October 15 assembly election.
"Don't they have a strong face in the state itself who can relate to people here?" the Sena leader wanted to know.
Recalling his previous visit to Tuljapur, a temple town, in the last week of September, Uddhav said Sena leaders did not favour quitting the alliance with BJP. "And then suddenly (On September 25) news came in that BJP has decided to break the 25-year-old alliance".
Uddhav said the immediate feeling he got was that the break-up was due to divine intervention. "The breaking up of the alliance was probably the will of Goddess Tulja Bhavani (whose famour temple is located here."
Reiterating his affection for late BJP leaders Gopinath Munde and Pramod Mahajan, the Sena chief said had the two been alive, they would not have allowed the saffron alliance to come apart.