Maharashtra Navnirman Sena chief Raj Thackeray may not be contesting the ongoing Lok Sabha election, but his attacks on Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his party are sharp as ever. On Friday, he claimed PM Modi copied former prime ministers Jawaharlal Nehru and Indira Gandhi, even after being critical of them.
Mr Thackeray claimed that at the Nehru Memorial Museum in Teen Murti Bhavan in New Delhi, there is a plaque in which Jawaharlal Nehru's quote is prominently embossed: "Is desh ki janta hame Pradhan Mantri na kahe, pratham sevak kahe (The people of the country must not call me prime minister, call me pratham sevak or first servant)."
"But he (Modi) has merely changed 'pratham sevak' to 'pradhan sevak'," Mr Thackery said at a rally.
PM Modi calls himself pradhan sevak or prime servant.
"You (Modi) will keep on abusing Nehru and Indira Gandhi, but still you copy them... Past five years you have only lied to the country on everything," news agency IANS quoted him as saying at a rally.
PM Modi and his party have been calling the Congress "dynastic" as many party presidents came from the Nehru-Gandhi family. He has been levelling corruption accusations at the family, claiming they were busy in their own development when they should have been working for the country.
The latest attack came when in a veiled attack, PM Modi invoked Congress president Rahul Gandhi's father, former PM Rajiv Gandhi, at a rally.
"Sometimes I think, why is he lying so much? I suspect that perhaps the sins of his father from the Bofors deal are weighing on his mind. In order to wash them, he is smearing the same sins on the rest of the world," he said an election rally in Goa.
Raj Thackeray, cousin of Shiv Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray, wanted an alliance with the Congress and Sharad Pawar's NCP, but after the Rahul Gandhi-led party's firm no, decided to only campaign against the BJP.
"I will address eight to ten rallies in Maharashtra even though we are not contesting these elections. There have been murmurs that I am with the Congress and NCP. I am not joining them. There are two men who are a threat for this nation. They are Amit Shah and Narendra Modi. I am going to fight them. If the Congress-NCP benefit, so be it," he had said at a recent rally.
With inputs from IANS