Afzal hanging: Thackeray disagrees with Omar

Last Updated: Thursday, October 6, 2011 - 23:22

Mumbai: Shiv Sena chief Bal Thackeray on Thursday
disagreed with Omar Abdullah`s contention that Kashmir would
flare up if Afzal Guru was hanged and demanded that the
Parliament attack convict be sent to the gallows immediately.

Seeking execution of Guru, he said the Jammu and Kashmir
chief minister should be "slapped in the face" for saying so.
"If you can`t hang Guru even after nine years, then put a
lock on the government," he said at the party`s traditional
Dussehra rally at Shivaji Park in central Mumbai.

He also said that the government was spending a "huge
amount of money" to keep Pakistani terrorist Ajmal Kasab
alive.

The Sena chief also claimed credit for the attack on
errant autorickshaw drivers in the city yesterday, saying "My
Shiv Sainiks taught them a lesson." Thackeray also flayed the
state government for neglecting city`s mill workers. "I will
join you when you come onto streets for the cause," he said.

Opposing the naming of Bandra-Worli sealink here after
Rajiv Gandhi, Thackeray said the nameplate should be pulled
down. He also opposed plans for reclamation of land in Mumbai
at the cost of fishermen.
Launching his party`s campaign for the Mumbai civic
elections, which are barely four months away, he asked people
to defeat Congress and re-elect Sena for another term.

"Resolve that you will defeat Congress in (BMC)
elections," he said.

Alleging that there was an attempt to separate Mumbai
from Maharashtra, he said, "I won`t allow anyone to split
Mumbai from Maharashtra. If needed, I will fire bullets from
the pistol at anyone who attempts to do so."

In a lighter vein, Thackeray recalled a conversation with
a foreigner who thought that state Home Minister R R Patil
resembled Charlie Chaplin.

He also mimicked the way Prime Minister Manmohan Singh
and Chief Minister Prithviraj Chavan speak, and the way Union
Home Minister P Chidambaram dresses.

Towards the beginning of the speech, he said, "What was
Sonia Gandhi doing for a month abroad? Were the doctors in
India dead?"

Three generations of the Thackeray family were present at
the Dusshera rally. The Sena chief`s son Uddhav, and grandson
Aditya were on the stage.

In a remark which won`t go down well with new ally
Republican Party of India (Ramdas Athawale faction), Thackeray
said the name of the bustling railway station Dadar here
should be retained and opposed the demand that it be
rechristened as Chaityabhumi, which is the name of Dr B R
Ambedkar`s nearby memorial.

On Athawale`s absence at the rally, Thackeray said
another rally will be held at the same venue where Athawale
will be present.

Earlier, Sena executive president Uddhav Thackeray
alleged the government was giving a step-motherly treatment to
Mumbai. "Of the funds Mumbai contributes to the Centre`s
kitty, only two per cent are spent on the city`s development,
while in the case of Delhi, the amount spent is 22 per cent."

He reiterated his party`s opposition to the Jaitapur
nuclear power project in coastal Konkan, saying there was no
need for the project at the cost of people`s lives.

Uddhav warned of an intense stir if the government fails
to take a decision on mill workers` demands, including free
houses. It was the mill workers who have saved Mumbai, he
said.

Equating Chief Minister Chavan with Italian dictator
Mussolini, Uddhav said the way police fired on hapless people
in Jaitapur and Maval was a matter of disgrace.

PTI



First Published: Thursday, October 6, 2011 - 23:22

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