Won't utter a word against Sena as tribute to Balasaheb: Modi

Won't utter a word against Sena as tribute to Balasaheb: Modi

Won't utter a word against Sena as tribute to Balasaheb: Modi
Prime Minister Narendra Modi today said he will not a utter a word against estranged BJP ally Shiv Sena during the campaign for the October 15 Maharashtra polls as a mark of respect to Bal Thackeray.

On the second day of his poll campaign in Maharashtra, Modi launched a blistering attack on NCP chief Sharad Pawar, saying he lacks the qualities of Maratha leader Shivaji and "failed" to address the water woes of the people of the state as  Chief Minister and Agriculture Minister.

Talking about BJP's estranged ally Sena, he said, "Political pundits are saying why is Modi not criticising Shiv Sena in his speeches (during poll campaign). This is the first election in absence of late Bal Thackeray, for whom I have great respect. I have decided not to utter a single word against Shiv Sena. This is my tribute to Balasaheb Thackeray".

"There are some things which are above politics...There are feelings. Not everything should be linked to politics," the 64-year-old BJP leader said
addressing a poll rally at Tasgaon in Sangli district of western Maharashtra, from where former state Home Minister R R Patil is NCP nominee.

BJP has fielded former Congress MLA Ajit Ghorpade against Patil for this key poll battle in Maharashtra.

Modi, who began his speech in Marathi, launched a scathing on Pawar for his comments about Shivaji "plundering" the treasury of Surat.

"Pawar's statement has hurt me deeply. You don't have knowledge of history. Gujarat was part of Maharashtra prior to its formation in 1960. We have considered Maharashtra as big brother," he said.

"We never thought what you said. I want to ask Pawar: you speak of Shivaji. It was the Vajpayee government which named Mumbai airport after Shivaji. You were CM but did not think of it. Even Victoria Terminus was named Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus by Vajpayee government," the PM said.

"There is no chance of you (Pawar) getting Shivaji's qualities in your character. But as agriculture minister, had you implemented Shivaji's water management techniques, farmers of Maharashtra would not have committed suicide," he said.

"I am amazed. Pawar was the Union Agriculture Minister. But in his Maharashtra, around 3,700 farmers commit suicide every year," Modi said.

"It does not befit Pawar to talk of Shivaji. The statue of Shivaji in Surat is much bigger than the one in your Baramati (Pawar's constituency in western Maharashtra," he said. "Stop challenging our 'Shiv bhakti'," he said.

At a recent poll rally, Pawar had attacked the BJP, saying that the people who had termed Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj a 'looter' were invoking the warrior king to seek votes.

"They never even celebrated Shiv Jayanti and suddenly they have realised the importance of Shivaji Maharaj. All this is for votes only. BJP is well aware that it would not be able to reach out to the masses using its so-called icons and that's why is using Shivaji Maharaj's name and seeking people's blessings," Pawar had said.

Seeking a decisive mandate from Maharashtra's voters, he said, "You have trusted me and my words and given us victory in Lok Sabha. I salute you."

"When BJP decided to make me PM nominee, I came to the Raigad Fort in Maharashtra and paid obeisance at Shivaji's samadhi. I prayed that I also should get the strength to serve people of India," he said.

Attacking the Congress and NCP, Modi said both are of the same mould as far as corruption is concerned.

"These are the people who robbed Kargil widows of their homes and jobs from youth. They have destroyed Maharashtra," he said.

"Do you want to get Maharashtra out of the morass of corruption? I am willing to take responsibility, but elect a government with full majority," he said.

"Congress did not give account of 60 years of rule but it seeks from us the account of 60 days in office," Modi said.

Had the UPA government completed work on Narmada project, Maharashtra would have got free electricity worth Rs 400 crore per year, he said. "Why are sugar mills in Maharashtra closed?" he asked.

"The Amul success story of Gujarat is now globally famous but you made sugar mills hub of politics," he said.

Modi began his speech by hailing Chhatrapati Shivaji and paid tributes to Ganesh and Piroba deities. "Sangli, sarvat changli (Sangli is the best of all)," he said.
"I am a kaamdar (worker) among all these amdars and khasdars (MLAs and MPs)," Modi said.

"India is shining in the US not because of Modi, but because of the 125 crore people. This is the power of full majority," he said.

Modi said he had asked officials to check how much percentage of natural fruit could be put in soft drinks. "This will ensure that fruits produced by farmers don't rot," he said.

"I am going ahead with the 'Make In India' mantra so that youth get jobs. India is marching ahead. Now, people of Maharashtra have to decide and elect BJP government with full majority," he said.

Modi concluded his speech with an appeal to the crowd to leave the rally venue only after making sure that the ground was free of litter. He also spoke of the Swachh Bharat campaign aimed at creating a 'Clean India'.

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