Even though, the chief minister Uddhav Thackeray, assailed on both political and the prevailing health crisis across the state in his televised public address on Sunday, but didn’t speak about other key issues, like Kangana Ranaut controversy and the assault on a retired army officer by his partymen.
However, the chief minister took a jibe at the BJP and supporters of Ranaut without naming them and said, “Whatever political storms come, I will face… I will fight coronavirus too. Over the last few days, we have done a lot of work on coronavirus… we will fight the political crisis too.”
He alleged that a conspiracy has been hatched to malign the state by several amid criticism over the rising cases of the COVID-19 and the row involving Bollywood actor Kangana Ranaut.
“Some people may feel that now coronavirus disease is over and they should start their politics again. I will not talk about politics but there is a conspiracy to discredit Maharashtra,” Thackeray said, endorsing the statement of party spokesman Sanjay Raut. He, however, did not name anyone.
In his latest address, which came a day after Covid-19 cases in Maharashtra crossed 10-lakh mark, Thackeray also said that his government has done effective work to tackle the pandemic.
Whatever storms have reached the state, be it natural or political, the government has been fighting them, added the Chief Minister, whose government has been under BJP attack over the handling of actor Sushant Rajput’s death since June. Over the last weeks it has also found itself embroiled in a battle with actor Kangana Ranaut, which starting over the same issue, escalated fast.
Thackeray spoke about growing cases of coronavirus and launched a new ‘my family, my responsibility’ campaign and addressed issues, like farm-loan waivers, Maratha quota and floods, but didn’t speak about other prevailing key issues, like bulldozing the office of Kangana through a short notice and assault of an ex-army officer by Shiv Sena workers.
The chief minister had, however, started his speech by talking about how there was an attempt to defame the state and to not construe his silence as weakness. It also remains to be seen whether Thackeray will break silence on the assault of the retired navy officer Madan Sharma, allegedly by Sena workers for forwarding on social media a cartoon mocking the chief minister Uddhav Thackeray. Six persons were arrested in the case and later granted bail. The attack on the ex-army officer was condemned by all section of people.
A well known critic of BJP, Bollywood actress, Swara Bhashkar even condemned the act and said that the attack on an elderly gentleman by the Sena for a joke (cartoon) on CM is shocking, shameful and utterly condemnable. Violence of this kind has no place in a civilised democracy and the government cannot claim good governance if basic law and order isn’t maintained. Shame! It was expected that the chief minister Thackeray would speak on the issue and at least warn Shiv Sainiks to restrain themselves from such actions. In his speech, Thackeray was also tight-lipped on the Kangana Ranaut vs Sena spat which escalated after the saffron party controlled BMC razed a portion of the actor’s Mumbai office, alleging that it was built illegally.
Ranaut’s recent remark comparing Mumbai to Pakistan- occupied-Kashmir (PoK) has drawn the ire of the ruling Sena. She had said that she feared Mumbai Police more than the “movie mafia”, and would prefer security either from Himachal Pradesh or the Centre. The 33-year-old actor alleged that the Maharashtra government was targeting her because of her clash with the Sena. She also linked the BMC’s demolition at her office to the Sena and said it was vendetta.