Eknath Shinde questions Opposition’s ‘silence’ on Udhayanidhi Stalin’s Sanatan Dharma remarks

Thane: Maharashtra Chief Minister Eknath Shinde on Thursday targeted the Opposition’s INDIA alliance, saying its members stand exposed due to their silence on Tamil Nadu minister Udhayanidhi Stalin’s alleged anti-Sanatan Dharma remarks.

Without naming the Uddhav Thackeray-led Shiv Sena, he also recalled how strongly Sena founder Bal Thackeray had reacted against Congress veteran Mani Shankar Aiyar during a past controversy.

“Let any number of Stalins come, they can not eradicate Sanatan Dharma,” Shinde said, talking to the media here after attending Dahi Handi (Janmashtami) celebrations.

“These INDIA alliance members have come together against the Hindus, Hindutva, their real faces are now exposed. Had Balasaheb Thackeray been around today, they would have faced what Mani Shankar Aiyar (once) faced. But unfortunately, they are all tight-lipped,” he added.

Aiyar had faced the wrath of the then undivided Shiv Sena in 2004 for allegedly insulting freedom fighter and Hindutva ideologue Vinayak Damodar Savarkar. The Sena faction led by Uddhav Thackeray, Bal Thackeray’s son, is now part of the INDIA alliance. Shinde rebelled against Uddhav’s leadership in June 2022 and became chief minister.

In a veiled jibe at Uddhav Thackeray, he also said that those who “sold their loyalty for the chief minister’s chair” should not preach about loyalty.

He was confident that Prime Minister Narendra Modi would “break the Handi” of 2024 elections (a reference to Dahi Handi celebrations where a team that breaks a `Handi’ or pitcher of curd wins), Shinde said.

While Chandrayaan-3 mission succeeded because of the efforts of ISRO scientists, Modi’s inspiration was behind that success, the chief minister said.

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