Sunday, October 10, 2021

Maharashtra: Uddhav Thackeray, Narayan Rane trade barbs at Sindhudurg airport inauguration

Sindhudurg: Arch-political enemies Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray and Union minister Narayan Rane on Saturday shared the dais at the inauguration of an airport at Chipi in the Sindhudurg district, and took swipes at each other.

This was probably for the first time the two came together on stage after Rane parted ways with the Shiv Sena -- now headed by Thackeray -- on a bitter note sixteen years ago.

The occasion also had a backdrop of Rane's arrest in August this year for a remark against the chief minister.

Rane, who hails from Sindhudurg, in his speech listed the work done by him since he was elected as MLA from this picturesque region of coastal Maharashtra for the first time in 1990.

He was given the charge of the district on the instructions of Shiv Sena founder (and Uddhav Thackeray's father) late Bal Thackeray, and there were no proper roads, water or education facilities in the region then, he said.

After the Shiv Sena-BJP combine came to power in the state in 1995, he requested then chief minister Manohar Joshi to declare Sindhudurg as a "tourism district", Rane claimed.

“After that the work for basic amenities like roads, power, education, water, and healthcare was carried out. The existing infrastructure is because of Narayan Rane. Nobody can match it,” he said.

“People know who works. Uddhav-ji, I learnt everything from Saheb (Bal Thackeray),” Rane added.

The BJP leader also said even today there is no water or electricity infrastructure near Chipi, nor is there a proper road to the airport.

In a barely veiled attack on the chief minister, Rane said the late Bal Thackeray disliked lying, and did not care for those who lie.

In his speech, chief minister Thackeray hit back, saying, "Balasaheb did not like lying. Hence, many times such people (who lied) were kicked out of the Shiv Sena. (Bal Thackeray would say) Even if the truth is bitter, please speak it."

In another dig at Rane, he said, "As per my knowledge, the Sindhudurg fort was built by (Shivaji) Maharaj...otherwise someone might say `I built it'."

He also said it must be pondered why it took so long for this airport to be built. "Some people said Konkan will be transformed into California, but why has it not happened yet," Thackeray added.

Then he took a dig at Rane's portfolio at the Centre, namely, Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSME).

09/10/21 PTI IndiaTV

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