“Like my father (the late) Bal Thackeray, those Muslims who consider India their motherland, respect the laws of this country, don’t ignite riots and live amicably, we have nothing against them — as far as the others, they have no right to live in India,” Thackeray told his party journal “Saamana”.
When asked about how Hyderabad-based Muslim leader Akbaruddin Owaisi was spewing venom against Hindus by threatening to wipe out the majority (Hindu) community in 15 minutes, Thackeray cited the example of his father.
“Though he was the only Hindu ‘Hridaysamrat’ (Emperor of Hindu hearts), Bal Thackeray never said he would annihilate the Muslims in 15 minutes. Can somebody dare to speak in this fashion (like Owaisi) among the Pakistani Hindus? Under such a situation, it is up to the Hindus to decide who will protect them,” Thackeray said.
Referring to ally Bharatiya Janata Party’s prime ministerial candidate Narendra Modi’s brand of “Hindutva”, Thackeray rued that whenever there is talk of Modi, it gets linked to Gujarat riots and attempts are made to measure his “Hindutva” based on that incident.
“However, one thing is clear — under Modi, Gujarat has not witnessed any communal riots and the Hindus are feeling secure in that state,” Thackeray said.
Discussing the prospects of the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) in Maharashtra, Thackeray recalled that way back, the late Bal Thackeray had advised social campaigner Anna Hazare to keep away from his “Team Anna”.
“Now ‘Team Anna’ has distanced itself from Hazare — on whose name it came up in the first place… AAP came with a bang and fell with a whimper in Delhi and only the people of that state had to suffer,” Thackeray said.
He dismissed the contention that the AAP broom (party symbol) was sweeping Maharashtra, and said it doesn’t pose any challenge to the established parties.
“In fact, the people of Mumbai are already irritated by the AAP. The Shiv Sena is the only voice of the people of Maharashtra,” he said.—————IANS