Union Home Minister Amit Shah on Sunday termed the ruling Maha Vikas Aghadi (MVA) government in Maharashtra as a “three-wheel auto-rickshaw” and accused it of failing on all fronts.
Speaking after inaugurating a private medical college at Kankavli in Maharashtra’s Sindhudurg district, Shah said all wheels of this auto-rickshaw were moving in different directions.
“This is an unholy alliance made by betraying the people’s mandate which was for a BJP–Shiv Sena government led by Devendra Fadnavis,” he said.
He alleged the alliance was made for the lust of power, and asserted that no promise was made before the 2019 Assembly polls about sharing of the chief minister’s post in the state by the then allies BJP and Shiv Sena.
The Uddhav Thackeray-led Shiv Sena parted ways with the BJP after the Assembly polls in 2019 over the issue of sharing the chief ministerial post in the state, and later forged an alliance with the NCP and Congress to come to power.
Thackeray had claimed that Shah, who was then BJP president, assured in ‘Matoshree’ (Thackeray’s home in Mumbai’s Bandra area) that the CM’s post would be shared by the two parties, but the BJP later went back on the promise.
However, Shah on Sunday reiterated that no promise was made to the Shiv Sena on sharing of the chief ministers post.
“I don’t make promises in closed rooms. Whatever I do, I do it openly…I don’t do politics in closed rooms,” the Union minister said.
It is being alleged the BJP broke the promise, Shah said and stressed that his party honours its promises.
“We don’t speak white lies. We are the ones who honour commitments. In Bihar, we said if the NDA gets more seats, Nitish Kumar will continue to be CM,” he said.
The BJP got more seats than the JD(U) and Nitish Kumar said the BJP should have its chief minister, he noted.
“But, we said the BJP has already given its word that he (Nitish Kumar) will remain the CM,” Shah said.
Hitting out at Thackeray, Shah said the Sena president addressed rallies with him and Prime Minister Narendra Modi before the Maharashtra Assembly elections.
In the posters of Shiv Sena candidates, PM Modi’s pictures were bigger than Thackeray’s, he said.
“We sought votes for the BJP-Sena led by Fadnavis, why didn’t you speak out that time? You just took votes in the name of Modiji,” Shah said.
The BJP made “no promise” to the Shiv Sena on sharing of the CM’s post, he asserted.
“For the lust of power, all (late Sena founder) Balasaheb’s ideals were dumped in the Tapi river,” he said, and accused the MVA government of failing on all fronts.
Shah also said the Ram temple will be constructed at Ayodhya in Uttar Padesh in two years.
He said the “BJP is in politics for its ideals, and not for politics like the Shiv Sena”.
He said during a cyclone in the state (last year), Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray did not visit the affected Konkan region while Fadnavis visited the area thrice.
He claimed that sugar cooperatives held by BJP leaders are being victimised by the state government. “If we would have followed your path, your party would have lost its relevance,” he said.
Shah praised BJP Rajya Sabha member Narayan Rane’s efforts for the construction of the medical college which was inaugurated on Sunday at Kankavli, the political turf of Rane.
The Union minister further said under the leadership of PM Modi, India effectively tackled the COVID-19 pandemic which the world considers as a “model”.
Everyone wondered how the country with a huge population and weak health infrastructure would control the pandemic but “effective steps were taken at the right time”, he said.
“Efforts were made, like janta curfew, lockdown, boosting morale of health workers, starting testing labs, manufacture of ventilators, masks and PPE kits,” he said.
India’s line of treatment during the pandemic is being followed by 170-odd countries, Shah said.
The big difference was that in India, the central government, state governments, doctors, health workers and 130 crore people together handled the situation, he said.
“Our COVID-19 death rate is low, our recovery rate is the best,” he said.
Through the janta curfew, PM Modi prepared people for the lockdown, he said, and also referred to initiatives like clapping, beating of ‘thalis’ and lighting lamps to encourage doctors and health workers.
Shah said during the pandemic, the health infrastructure was boosted at a rocket-speed. He said the world’s largest vaccination programme was recently launched in India.
“We have rolled out two vaccines…four more are in the pipeline,” he said, adding that India is set to supply 70 per cent of world’s vaccine needs.
The vaccines are being exported to 14 countries, the Union minister informed.
In the last six-and-a-half years, the Centre has invested heavily in health infrastructure, he added.