Shiv Sena (UBT) leader Aaditya Thackeray on Sunday alleged the Election Commission is "completely compromised" and said its decision to recognise the faction led by Maharashtra chief minister Eknath Shinde as the Shiv Sena and allot it the bow and arrow symbol was dangerous for democracy.
He said the acronym "CM" of Maharashtra currently stands for a "corrupt man", and that the "illegal and unconstitutional chief minister will surely go".
Addressing a meeting of the party workers in North Mumbai, Thackeray said the flaming torch (Mashaal) symbol allotted to Shiv Sena (UBT) is the only light that will brighten the darkness caused by the betrayal and back-stabbing.
He said the rebel MLAs led by Mr Shinde had done the "dirty work" of toppling a government that had done good work of tackling the COVID-19 pandemic and alleviating hardships of farmers affected by the cyclone and unseasonably rains when in power.
"The Maha Vikas Aghadi government was leading Maharashtra to a golden period. An investment of Rs 6.5 lakh crore was made during the MVA rule of 2.5 years and 93 per cent of the investment proposals had been implemented," the former minister said.
Mr Thackeray said the Bharatiya Janata Party must be wondering whether the happening (the pulling down of the government) was right or wrong.
He said the most important work of the MVA government was granting a loan waiver to farmers.
"Maharashtra didn't like betrayals and this is the reason the local body elections, which are overdue, are not being held," the Worli MLA said.
He said the investments attracted by Maharashtra during the MVA rule were shifted to Gujarat (under the Eknath Shinde-BJP dispensation).
He exuded confidence that Shiv Sena (Uddhav Balasaheb Thackeray) will win the Mumbai civic polls whenever they are held. "You need to have a clean heart and strength to carry the bow and arrow. Merely getting the bow and arrow (symbol) is not enough," he said.
Mr Thackeray said none of the 40 MLAs who defected to the Shinde camp has categorically stated that they haven't taken money to do so. The Thackeray camp has alleged the exchange of money in rebel MLAs switching their loyalties to the Shinde camp and often taunts them with "50 khoke" (boxes) jibe.
"The 40 MLAs betrayed Uddhav Thackeray. How can they remain true to the people and the state?" he asked.
Thackeray said their Hindutva is "inclusive and everyone's blood is red".
(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)