Pune, Jan 22: Coming down heavily on the Maharashtra chief Minister Ashok Chavan for backtracking on the issue of Mumbai taxi permit, Shiv Sena chief Bal Thackeray has compared Chavan's U-turn to Michael Jackson's 'moonwalk' on Friday, Jan 22.
"In the darkness of load shedding, most people wondered over the question: 'Did he really make such a statement?'. A few hours later, as expected, the government turned around on the issue - just like the late Michael Jackson did in his number "Moonwalk", Thackeray said in an open letter to Chavan carried in the Sena mouthpiece Saamna.
Referring to the mill worker's plight in Mumbai, the Sena chief reprimanded the government for playing turnaround politics, adding that recent backtracking on taxi permits was one of the many examples.
"On one hand they talk of giving houses to mill workers and on the other they enter into deals with mill owners for constructing malls and skyscrapers on their lands. First the government raised expectations among Marathis for acquiring new taxi permits, then it backtracked. Please stop this kind of (turnaround) politics," Thackeray urged.
Thackeray said that he was not against any languages, but when it comes to Maharashtra and its capital Mumbai, Marathi must get its due respect.
"Otherwise, when the anger of the people rises against you, your 150-year-old peepul tree (probably implying the Congress party) shall be reduced to ashes. So I humbly request you to kindly stop spreading this 'gupt rog' (private disease) of turnaround politics in the state," Thackeray said, signing off in Marathi.
On Wednesday, Jan 20, the state government had declared that taxi permits in Mumbai, will be given only to those who can read and write Marathi and those who have resided in the city for atleast 15 years.
However, just a day after the announcement, Chief Minister Ashok Chavan said that the taxi permits will be given to those who knew any of the local language including Hindi and Gujarati.