Thackeray takes anti-US stand

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Mumbai, Oct 21 (UNI) Shiv Sena chief Bal Thackeray tonight took a anti-US stand and wondered why there was sudden love for that country.

Speaking at the 42nd Dussehra rally of the party, held at Shivaji Park, Dadar in Central Mumbai, Mr Thackeray admitted that ''Earlier, we had supported US on the nuclear deal.'' He wondered who the nuke deal will benefit.

Talking about the controversial Ram Sethu issue, he said the move to demolish the Ram Sethu was meant to make way for the big ships of the US, and wondered which material would these ships carry? Mr Thackeray, who will turn 82 in next year, admitted ''I am tired physically, but my thoughts are alive and young.'' Speaking about Maharashtra PWD Minister Chhagan Bhujbal, who left Shiv Sena in 1991, the Sena chief said he does not want to make any comment on Mr Bhujbal's sudden love for him.

Last week, Mr Bhujbal had remarked that Shiv Sena had given him a dignified stand in society.

He, however, criticised Mr Bhujbal for defecting to the Congress in 1991 along with 17 other legislators.

Age was evident during Mr Thackeray's speech, as on many occasions, he went astray from the subject, and delivered his 40 minute speech sitting.

Talking about Deputy Chief Minister R R Patil, he said ''If the bar girls are dancing, let them dance. But the Bangladeshi girls should not be allowed to dance in bars,'' he remarked.

As usual Revenue Minister Narayan Rane was his target, apart from Union Agriculture Minister Sharad Pawar and Chief Minister Vilasrao Deshmukh.

Reiterating his party's stand, Mr Thackeray said the Sena would never allow Mumbai to be separated from Maharashtra.

Earlier, speaking on the occasion, senior Shiv Sena leader and former Lok Sabha Speaker Manohar Joshi alleged that the Congress and NCP hatched a conspiracy to break the powerful Sena-BJP alliance.

However, their attempts could not materialise due to the party working president Uddhav Thackeray.

UNI

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