Shiv Sena faction chief Uddhav Thackeray, stripped of the party name and its election symbol by the Election Commission, ripped into the BJP and its chief strategist Amit Shah today with one of the best-known lines from the movie “Mr India” — ‘Mogambo khush hua”. Mr Thackeray also targeted Prime Minister Narendra Modi, saying when the Shiv Sainiks saved Mumbai during the serial blasts of 1993, “Those talking of Hindutva now, where were they? Address not known. Now they brag about 56-inch chest. Where was that 56-inch chest then? He was sweating”.
While once people wore “Modi masks at rallies, now it is PM Modi, who is after the mask of Balasaheb Thackeray,” he added, pointing to the months-long battle with the BJP and Chief Minister Eknath Shinde for the legacy of his father. That battle was settled in Mr Shinde’s favour by the Election Commission on Friday — a decision that Mr Thackeray plans to challenge in the Supreme Court.
“Yesterday, someone (Amit Shah) came to Pune. He asked how things are going in Maharashtra. Then someone said it was a very good day, because the name and symbol of Shiv Sena was given to the slaves who came with us. So he (Mr Shah) said very well, ‘Mogambo khush hua’,” Mr Thackeray said at a public meeting in Mumbai’s Andheri.
“These are the Mogambos of today. Like the original Mogambo, they want people to fight among each other, so they can enjoy power,” Mr Thackeray added.
The 62-year-old former Chief Minister of Maharashtra, however, dubbed the poll body’s move a “good thing” since it has “enraged the people”.
“They turned me out of my own house and the verdict went in the favour of thieves,” he said, warning that if they are allowed to get away with it, this can be repeated with any other party.
Mr Thackeray also had a stinging response to Amit Shah’s allegation that he had surrendered “at the feet of (Nationalist Party Congress chief) Sharad Pawar” to become the Chief Minister.
“In 2019, Uddhav Thackeray campaigned with us but when poll results came, he forgot about all the ideologies and fell on Sharad Pawar’s feet and requested to make him CM. BJP doesn’t have greed for power and we will never forget our ideologies,” said Mr Shah, who is currently in Maharashtra ahead of the Mumbai civic polls.
“Mogambo said I was licking the feet of the Congress and the NCP for the CM post. Now after what they have done, who knows who is licking what… How about when you were sitting with Mufti Mohammad Sayeed (the former chief of Jammu and Kashmir’s People’s Democratic Party),” Mr Thackeray said, citing the surprise alliance between the two parties with opposing ideologies to govern the former state in 2015.
“You want my father’s face but not his son. The son that was with you. I challenge them to come in front of me with the stolen bow and arrow. I have the mashaal (torch) and we will see what happens… They may have stolen the bow and arrow, but Ram is with me,” Mr Thackeray said.
The battle between the two Sena factions and the various moves in it, has been challenged in the Supreme Court, which will hear the case next on Tuesday.
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