Mumbai: Maharashtra Navnirman Sena president Raj Thackeray on Monday demanded the resignation of Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis for espousing the cause of a separate state of Vidarbha.
Fadnavis had voted in a 2013 referendum favour of separating Vidarbha from Maharashtra, and hence, "has lost the moral right to continue to as chief minister of the state", Thackeray said, displaying pictures of the referendum.
"Vidarbha is just the beginning; later, they will demand a separate Marathwada, and so on to break up the state into pieces. Their final intention is to sever Mumbai from the state," Thackeray alleged.
Speaking to media persons, he said persons like former state advocate-general Srihari Aney, who quit in a cloud following his demands for Vidarbha state, and former RSS former spokesperson M. G. Vaidya "are propped up by the BJP-RSS lobby in Nagpur" to divide and break up the state.
"For the first time, the Hutatma (Martyrs) Chowk memorial in south Mumbai was not decorated on the occasion of Maharashtra Day yesterday (on Sunday). This was insult to the martyrs of the Samyukta Maharashtra Movement. But the ruling ally, Shiv Sena, did not even raise a protest," Thackeray said.
Asking the government "to tender an apology" for this insult, he challenged the Shiv Sena to display guts and walk out of the government, as it was playing "a dual role of both opposition and ruling party ally".
Thackeray also accused the BJP of bandying out "lies" and misleading the people of the state on various counts.
Citing examples, he said the government had claimed to have dug 33,000 wells for farmers in the state, but letters and RTI queries revealed nothing.
"Most of the proposals are only on paper. All the funds have been gobbled up by the contractors. So what`s the difference between BJP and Congress?" he said.
He claimed fudging of figures of investment proposals received during the the recent `Make In India` conclave in Mumbai mid-February this year.
"I can provide evidence on all this. Let Fadnavis reply to the issues I have raised," Thackeray demanded.