Mumbai, Oct 6 (SocialNews.XYZ) Chief Minister Eknath Shinde on Wednesday defended his rebellion against the Shiv Sena leadership, terming it as not 'treachery but an 'uprisinig to save the party, and proclaimed himself as the real 'inheritor of late Balasaheb Thackerays political legacy.
Addressing a massive Dussehra rally at the Bandra Kurla Complex grounds here, Shinde - who toppled the Maha Vikas Aghadi government in June - devoted his speech largely to justify his revolt, and replying to many points raised by Shiv Sena President and ex-CM Uddhav Thackeray at his rally in Shivaji Park, and upholding his move to ally with the Bharatiya Janata Party.
Some of the surprise guests who turned up at the event were Jaidev Thackeray, the elder brother of Uddhav Thackeray, and sister-in-law Smita Thackeray and other clan members.
Countering Thackeray's attacks, Shinde accused him of 'selling off' Balasaheb's ideals, committing a 'sin' by joining hands with the Congress-Nationalist Congress Party in his greed for power, and watching the destruction of Shiv Sena with open eyes in the past two-and-half-years of the MVA regime.
"Stop talking of 'gaddaars' and 'khokhas' (a slang for crores of rupees)... We are not 'gaddaars' (traitors), what we did was a 'gadar' (uprising) to save the Shiv Sena. Look at this gathering, it shows where is the real Shiv Sena and who is the true inheritor of Balasaheb's legacy," claimed Shinde.
He countered by accusing Thackeray of 'gaddaari' (treachery) with the BJP after the October 2019 Assembly elections to form the MVA government, terming it as a 'betrayal of Balasaheb, of Shiv Sainiks, of Hindutva, the BJP with whose support he won the polls and the people of Maharashtra', while discarding Hindutva to keep Congress-NCP in good humour.
The CM also chucked Thackeray's allegations that he (Shinde) wanted to become the CM or control the Sena, and said when NCP President Sharad Pawar insisted on Thackeray taking over as CM, he had readily supported the move as he never hankered for power.
"Is Shiv Sena your private limited company, are you our master and we are your servants? Can only persons born with the silver spoon become the CM? Can't ordinary drivers or hawkers occupy the top post? This is the Sena of Balasaheb and Sainiks can make sacrifices for the party and Hindutva," Shinde said.
The CM also lavished praise on the BJP, Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Home Minister Amit Shah, saying it was Modi who fulfilled Balasaheb's dream of abolishing Article 370 in Jammu & Kashmir and building the Ram Mandir, among other things.
Slamming Thackeray for criticising the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh to please the Congress-NCP, Shinde said the RSS has contributed hugely to nation-building in the past 70 years, so demanding a ban on it was 'laughable'.
Taking a swipe at the NCP, he said it was better to join hands with the BJP than someone who had given a cabinet post to a person linked with underworld don Dawood Ibrahim Kaskar, and not speaking up in favour of the action taken by the BJP to ban the Popular Front of India (PFI), whose activists reportedly raised anti-national slogans recently.