MUMBAI: BJP leader Devendra Fadnavis on Thursday said Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray should communicate his concerns about large gatherings amid the coronavirus pandemic to his own party and the allies too.
Fadnavis was speaking to reporters after the launch of `Jan Ashirwad Yatra’ of the newly-inducted Union minister Narayan Rane in Mumbai.
To a question about Thackeray expressing concerns about public rallies being held amid the pandemic, Fadnavis said, “His concern is correct, but he should communicate it to the NCP, Congress and his own party, Shiv Sena. He should not preach to us alone.”
The BJP’s rivals should worry “because of the response we are getting at such rallies,” the former chief minister added.
On opposition by some Sena leaders to Rane’s visit to the memorial of Shiv Sena founder late Bal Thackeray, Fadnavis said, “It is a narrow-minded stand….Such approach has no place in Maharashtra’s politics. I believe Balasaheb Thackeray himself would not have spared any person for such a narrow-minded approach.”
Rane started his political career with the Sena before joining the Congress and later the BJP.
Explaining the purpose behind holding rallies during the pandemic, Fadnavis said, “Prime Minister Narendra Modi has made his cabinet more inclusive. The newly-inducted ministers like Narayan Rane are thus engaging in a dialogue with people. It is not meant only for the next year’s BMC (Mumbai civic body) polls. We fell short of two seats last time in the BMC, this time we will bridge the gap.”
Asked about cases being filed against BJP workers for organizing rallies, Fadnavis said, “Our DNA has been shaped by working as opposition for many years. We do not get rattled by such complaints….You can not put pressure on BJP by merely using the police force.”