Shiv Sena (UBT) chief Uddhav Thackeray’s remark calling Deputy Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis a “kalank” (blot) on Nagpur has fuelled a verbal duel between the two sides with the latter hitting back, stating that Thackeray needs to see a psychiatrist.
While speaking in Nagpur, the hometown of Fadnavis, Thackeray took a jibe at Fadnavis, saying he was a “kalank” on Nagpur.
Thackeray played an audio clip of Fadnavis’s statement from a 2015 TV interview in which the Deputy CM said the BJP will never ally with the NCP, rejecting the possibility with three “No’s”. Fadnavis had made the analogy of staying unmarried rather than choosing a toxic alliance.
“He said ‘no’ thrice but it actually meant ‘yes’. This is a blot on the reputation of your Nagpur,” Thackeray said while addressing party workers in Nagpur on Monday evening.
The BJP has condemned Thackeray’s remarks. “I pity my old friend and today’s political rival Uddhav Thackeray for his thinking and his behaviour. I think he needs to see a psychiatrist. Perhaps the situation around him had a huge impact on his thinking and his thinking has been adversely affected. When a person speaks things in such a mindset, then one should not react to it. So I will not comment on him,” Fadnavis said on Tuesday.
Union minister and senior BJP leader Nitin Gadkari also criticised Thackeray, saying personal allegations at such a low level does not suit the political culture of the state.
“Uddhav Thackeray’s statement about Devendra Fadnavis is reprehensible. The level of language should be maintained in politics. They can discuss the development works done by the BJP when we are in power and when they (MVA) were in power. But levelling personal allegations at such a low level does not suit the political culture of Maharashtra,” the senior minister, who also hails from Nagpur, said.
State BJP president Chandrashekhar Bawankule on Tuesday said that if Thackeray kept insulting Fadnavis and Union Home Minister Amit Shah, it might trigger a law and order situation in the state. “We will answer bricks with stones and the BJP won’t be responsible for it,” Bawankule said.
Despite the sharp criticism and condemnation by the BJP, Thackeray on Tuesday said he was firm on what he said.
“Bharatiya Janata Party’s governance is a taint on the culture of Maharashtra. There is no reason for anyone to get upset by the remarks that I made. If you look at his and BJP’s governance in Maharashtra, there can be no other word than this. He used to make all kinds of accusations against others, slander their families, raid them using the ED and CBI, defame others and their wives and children in the eyes of the public with allegations of corruption but later befriend them for political gain. This administration is a disgrace for Maharashtra. I used only one word but you are destroying families. Misusing government agencies. By raiding and making corruption allegations against families, you are putting taint on them too…,” Thackeray said.
“I do not enjoy criticising anyone. Many BJP leaders criticise me, my family by stooping to low. They even made fun of my surgery. They talk about the neck belt and if they are made aware of their tainted affairs, they turn a blind eye,” he further said.