Reactions to Raj Thackeray’s call for ‘Modi-mukt Bharat’: Smashed signboards, Twitter polls

Reactions are flying in on Raj Thackeray’s call for a ‘Modi-mukt Bharat’; MNS workers smashed Gujarati signboards on shops in Vasai and Thackeray received both criticism and praise

Photo by Satish Bate/Hindustan Times via Getty Images
Photo by Satish Bate/Hindustan Times via Getty Images

NH Web Desk

Launching a scathing attack on the BJP-led NDA government, Maharashtra Navnirman Sena (MNS) chief Raj Thackeray has called for opposition unity to achieve a "Modi-mukt Bharat" by 2019, while reminding his audience of the BJP's "Congress-mukt Bharat" slogan.

Thackeray was addressing party workers at an MNS rally at Shivaji Park in central Mumbai on Sunday. He said "The country is fed up with the false promises made by (Prime Minister) Narendra Modi and his government. India got its first independence in 1947, second in 1977 (after the post-Emergency election) and 2019 can bring a third independence if India becomes Modi-mukt."

Reportedly, the MNS chief also said that “Vasai [a northern suburb in Thane near Mumbai] feels more like Gujarat these days”. ANI reported that MNS workers subsequently smashed Gujarati signboards on shops in Vasai.

Reactions to Raj Thackeray’s ‘Modi-mukt Bharat’ call were swift on Twitter

Raj Thackeray and MNS have been receiving both bouquets and brickbats on Twitter after the outspoken Maharashtra leaders’ latest statements. The Congress Party is running a Twitter poll, asking if BJP’s alliance partners are as disappointed as the citizens are with PM Modi’s jumlas, with the hashtag #ModiMuktBharat.

Raj Thackeray says demonetisation might turn out to be biggest scam since Independence

If the Modi government was ousted and an inquiry was ordered into demonetisation, it (the note ban) might turn out to be the biggest scam in the country since 1947, said Raj Thackeray.

Quoting an ISRO report, Thackeray said, "A large-scale desertification of Maharashtra is going on due to depletion of groundwater. After Rajasthan, our state has reported the second highest rate of desertification in the country." He went on to question Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis's claim of digging of 56,000 wells in the state.

The MNS chief said he was in favour of building a Ram temple in Ayodhya, but it should not be used as an election issue. "The Babri Masjid demolition case is in the Supreme Court and it will be deliberately discussed in the coming days to instigate communal riots," he claimed.

Taking a dig at Modi's foreign tours, Thackeray said the prime minister was apparently visiting those countries to get "flour for pakoda" as the visits had not fetched any investments.

The MNS chief also said films like "Toilet Ek Prem Katha" and "Padman" were a covert propaganda for government schemes. Bollywood actor Akshay Kumar, who starred in both the films, was trying to follow the footsteps of Manoj Kumar, an actor who was popularly known as "Bharat Kumar", he added. "But Akshay Kumar is not even an Indian citizen. He holds a Canadian passport and Wikipedia describes him as an Indian-born Canadian actor," Thackeray said.

Taking a dig at PM Modi’s foreign tours, Raj Thackeray said the prime minister was apparently visiting those countries to get “flour for pakoda” as the visits had not fetched any investments

Raj Thackeray mocks Fadnavis’ singing duet with wife in music video

Taking potshots at Devendra Fadnavis, who recently featured in a video song about river conservation with his wife Amruta Fadnavis, the MNS chief said, "There are so many problems in the state, but apparently the CM is busy singing songs."

Thackeray also questioned the government's decision to accord a state funeral to Bollywood actor Sridevi last month. "Sridevi was a great actor, but what did she do for the country that her body was wrapped in the tricolour?" he asked. The media might have covered her funeral extensively at the government's behest to divert the people's attention from the Nirav Modi-Punjab National Bank scam, he said.

The government was trying to control the media, the judiciary and agencies like the CBI, Thackeray said, alleging that the media was under tremendous pressure from the BJP-led government.

Incidentally, Thackeray had met Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) president Sharad Pawar on Saturday, ahead of Sunday’s rally. He, however, described the meeting at Pawar's residence in south Mumbai as a courtesy call.

with PTI inputs.

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