Raj Thackeray Hits Back at R R Patil Over Rape Remark
NASHIK: Maharashtra Navnirman Sena chief Raj Thackeray attacked senior NCP leader R R Patil for his controversial comment on the criminal background of an MNS candidate who is in the poll fray against Patil in the latter's home turf.
"Earlier, he (MNS candidate Sudhakar Khade) was booked in a rape case in 2007, but was later acquitted by court. NCP leaders have a tendency to make such vulgar comments," Raj told an election rally in Cidco area of Nashik tonight.
Khade is taking on Patil in the latter's pocket-borough Tasgaon-Kavthemahankal in Sangli district of western Maharashtra.
With the campaigning for October 15 elections entering the last leg, Patil has stoked a major controversy when he said that an MNS nominee for the Assembly poll jailed for the offence of rape could have waited for elections to get over before committing the crime.
"MNS has fielded a candidate. Today MNS activists met me and said they would back me (in the elections). When I asked them why, they said their candidate is in jail," the former state home minister said.
"I asked as to what good act he has done? They told me that a rape case has been registered against him. If he wanted to contest and become an MLA, he should have committed rape after the elections," Patil had told his supporters at Sangli yesterday.
The NCP leader has also expressed regret over his comments.
Accusing NCP of having a "tendency" to make such controversial statements, Raj referred to the ignominious "urination in dam" comments made by former deputy chief minister Ajit Pawar, and a "double voting" remark made by NCP chief Sharad Pawar ahead of Lok Sabha elections.
Making light of BJP's assertion that it is contesting elections on its own, Raj said that BJP has in fact "imported" as many as 60 rebels from Congress and NCP and given them tickets.
He also attacked Prime Minister Narendra Modi for addressing a number of rallies in the state and for not being in New Delhi.
"Modi is addressing rallies for the candidates who lacked vision. These candidates are only involved in criticising others and have no future plan to take the state forward," the MNS chief said.
Seeking to fend off criticism that MNS, which is in power in the Nashik Municipal Corporation (NMC) has done nothing for the city, Raj said, "I had approached top industrialists like Mukesh Ambani, Ratan Tata, Anand Mahindra to undertake various projects.
"However, the projects hit a roadblock as the state government is not giving any full-fledged IAS officer as civic commissioner since last seven months. I also discussed this with then chief minister Prithviraj Chavan and minister Patangrao Kadam, but there was no progress," he said.
Expressing lament that youths are preferring to settle down in foreign countries, Raj underlined the need to create necessary infrastructure in the state.
"There are no good sports academies, no catering colleges to create good chefs... I have a vision document ready. I appeal to you to trust me... I want?to create good Maharashtra and have no interest in capturing power... I kick it," he said.
Raj, whose party won the Mayoral elections in NMC with the help of NCP, said that the Sharad Pawar-led party itself came forward to give MNS support.
"I have not given them any post in the municipal corporation," he added.
BJP had snapped ties with MNS in the Mayoral polls held earlier this year.
Raj said that despite being a grape capital of the country, Nashik lacked infrastructure like processing units.
"Trimbakeshwar near here is scenic but there is no proper system to promote tourism. I want to change this," he said.