Ready to Join Hands with Protectors of Freedom, Says Uddhav; Hints at Alliance with Prakash Ambedkar


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Former Maharashtra chief minister Uddhav Thackeray, who heads a faction of the Shiv Sena, on Sunday alleged that the country was moving towards dictatorship and said he was ready to join hands with anyone who protect freedom.

Thackeray said this during an event, where he shared the stage with Dr B R Ambedkar’s grandson Prakash Ambedkar, chief of the Vanchit Bahujan Aghadi (VBA), for the first time, and hinted at joining hands with him.

The two leaders were together at the launch of Prabhodhankar.com, a digital platform to highlight the work of Thackeray’s grandfather ‘Prabhodhankar’ Keshav Sitaram Thackeray.

Speaking on the occasion, Thackeray said, “The country is moving towards dictatorship. There is a need to throw out people who are greedy for power. I am willing to join hands with those who want to protect freedom.” “At present, the British policy of divide-and-rule is being followed,” he said.

Thackeray described Prakash Ambedkar as a person full of knowledge and information.

The Maha Vikas Aghadi (MVA) government led by Thackeray collapsed in June this year following a revolt by Shiv Sena leader Eknath Shinde and 39 other MLAs of the party. Shinde became the chief minister after his faction joined hands with the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) to form a government in the state.

Thackeray said he and Ambedkar were ideologically on the same platform and would work together.

“If we don’t come together, we have no right to take our grandfathers’ names,” he said.

Targeting the BJP, Thackeray said, “In the present times, lynching takes place if cow meat is found, but at the same time, rapists and murderers are acquitted and felicitated after release and given tickets to contest elections. This is not Hindutva.” He was apparently referring to the release of all 11 life term convicts in the Bilkis Bano case of the 2002 riots in Gujarat in August this year and the BJP’s move of fielding the daughter of a post-Godhra Naroda Patiya massacre case convict from Naroda seat of Ahmedabad for the upcoming Assembly elections.

Thackeray also questioned Union Law Minister Kiren Rijiju over his remarks on the functioning of the Supreme Court collegium, and wondered if that was his personal view or that of the government.

Rijiju had recently said that the present collegium system through which judges are appointed is “opaque” and said the “fittest” persons should be appointed as judges and not someone whom the collegium knows.

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