"Merely Putting Up Tricolour Does Not...": Uddhav Thackeray On 'Har Ghar Tiranga' Drive

Shiv Sena chief sees country "moving towards slavery", says BJP wants to "finish off regional parties"

'Merely Putting Up Tricolour Does Not...': Uddhav Thackeray On 'Har Ghar Tiranga' Drive

Former Maharashtra chief minister Uddhav Thackeray also referenced toppling of his government.

Mumbai:

"Merely putting up the Tricolour doesn't make you a patriot," Maharashtra's former chief minister Uddhav Thackeray said today on the 'Har Ghar Tiranga' drive of the BJP-led central government. The Shiv Sena leader said he understands it's part of the 'Azaadi Ka Amrit Mahotsav', "but we need to think how much democracy is left after 75 years (of Independence)". 

Speaking via video link at the 62nd Foundation Day of 'Marmik' — a cartoon magazine that his father Bal Thackeray started in 1960 — he said cartoonists will have to guide the people against India's "move towards slavery".

"Nowadays the maai-baap (read monarchical) government has asked to install the national flag on every house, but someone showed me a picture about it," he said, speaking about a viral cartoon. "In it, a poor man says, 'I have the Tricolor, but not a house to install it'."

"Even today, Chinese are entering Arunachal. They will not go back if we put up the Tricolour on our houses.... The Tricolour should in our hearts as well."

He accused the BJP of wanting a budget cut for the armed forces. "It's a pleasure to put the Tricolour as DP (display picture on social media), but it's unfortunate to talk about cutting the budget of those who leave their homes and are standing on the border to protect the country. If you reduce the men in the army, then to whom will you give weapons?"

The BJP has already denied similar allegations by other parties that budget-cut is a rationale behind Agnipath scheme for short-term recruitment in the military.

But Mr Thackeray, referencing how his government was recently unseated by Sena rebels backed by the BJP, said, "You don't have money for army recruitment, but you have money to topple the state government."  

He accused the BJP of trying to to finish off regional parties — echoing similar statements from Bihar, where Nitish Kumar's JDU broke up with the BJP to revive an alliance with Lalu Yadav's party.  "JP Nadda (BJP chief) is talking about ending the state parties. People should think about that," he said. 

He also questioned the delay in giving portfolios to ministers in Eknath Shinde's Maharashtra government. "There is a flood in the state; there are no ministers. These people were made ministers but no responsibility was given."

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