Mumbai, Feb 19: Shiv Sena leader Uddhav Thackeray on Monday launched a scathing attack on the Pawar family and called Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) president and veteran politician Sharad Pawar a political back-stabber and his nephew Ajit a jobless minister.
Thackeray was angry with the alleged attempts by the NCP to engineer defections in the Sena. Hitting out at Pawar, Uddhav Thackeray said while his father, the later Bal Thackeray, had never played such politics, the NCP chief decided to join hands with the same Sonia Gandhi who had once kicked him out of the Congress.
Uddhav, who took over the reins after his ailing father died in November last year, said this while addressing a rally of nearly 34 trade unions at the Azad Maidan here. The trade unions are set to stage a national strike on February 20 and 21 to protest rising inflation, increasing privatisation and anti-labour policies. The Sena is supporting the strike.
The Sena president also praised Congress Chief Minister Prithviraj Chavan for cutting the NCP leaders to size.
Uddhav slammed the NCP leadership for flaunting wealth when many parts of the state were facing drought conditions. He mocked Pawar, saying while the latter said that he could not sleep after witnessing the display of wealth by his ministers in hard times, it was precisely he who had helped them amass the wealth.
Uddhav led a front of the unions from Veer Jijamata Udyan to Azad Maidan. He demanded that the state should postpone the higher secondary examinations owing to the strike. He said the authorities should ensure that the exams were not affected by the strike if they were not postponed. The examinations are set to begin on Thursday, the concluding day of the strike.
CM Chavan, meanwhile, appealed to the unions not to stage the strike. He said the Centre needed to take certain decisions for the sake of the economy and urged people to reconsider the strike.