Mumbai: MNS chief Raj Thackeray on Monday appealed to people to ensure "disappearance" of Prime Minister Narendra Modi and BJP president Amit Shah from the political scene of the country for spreading "lies" and "causing" communal disharmony.
Addressing a poll rally in Solapur district of Maharashtra, he called the prime minister "shameless" for seeking votes in the name of jawans without acknowledging their sacrifice. In controversial remarks, he asked the people gathered at the rally to accept money if offered to them by those who are "looting" the country.
The Maharashtra Navnirman Sena (MNS) is not contesting the Lok Sabha elections, but Thackeray has been addressing rallies in support of Congress-NCP-led alliance candidates, who are pitted against the BJP-Shiv Sena combine.
"I am here to wake all of you up against the tactics of Prime Minister Narendra Modi and BJP president Amit Shah. The kind of lies they have spread and caused communal disharmony, you should ensure they both get disappeared from the political horizons of this country," he said.
In a veiled attack on the Shiv Sena, he said, "Those who are helping Modi-Shah should also not be spared. You should not vote for those who help Modi-Shah stay in power."
Thackeray, however, did not mention the Shiv Sena, his former party, or any of its leaders in his speech.
After showing a video of Modi, where he purportedly claims a trader takes more risk than a jawan, Thackeray said, "The prime minister seeks votes from people in the name of jawans, but makes such remarks about their sacrifice. I have so far not seen a more 'shameless' prime minister than him."
"They are trying to fool you by raising non-issues ahead of elections. If they distribute money, accept it. This is the right time to loot them...You cannot imagine the way our country is being looted by these people, but accept their money and do not look back," Thackeray said.
He claimed Modi and Shah are pushing the country on path of authoritarianism like the current regime in Russia where power is concentrated in the hands of 7-8 people.
Thackeray also exposed the Maharashtra government's claim of a village in Amravati district - Harisal - being the first digital village in the country.
However, a video procured by MNS workers shows no digital services such as Internet connection and card swapping for financial transaction, among others, are operational in the village, he said.
"What Adolf Hitler did to Germany in 1930s is going to be replicated in India if Modi and Shah return to power," Thackeray warned.
Solapur will vote on 18 April.
Your guide to the latest election news, analysis, commentary, live updates and schedule for Lok Sabha Elections 2019 on firstpost.com/elections. Follow us on Twitter and Instagram or like our Facebook page for updates from all 543 constituencies for the upcoming general elections.
Updated Date: Apr 15, 2019 23:19:59 IST